Sunday, February 22, 2009

Today's Church Review

The categories are appearance, greeting, music, sermon, after-the-sermon and over all response.

Well, this is the church i tried to attend last week but couldn't find. A former high school classmate of ours goes to the church, and i am connected to him on myspace. So, during the week, i inquired, and he advised, and it turned out we simply hadn't driven far enough. So today, we drove far enough, but we still didn't find it. So we drove another 1/2 mile past "far enough" and then turned around. I was just about to burst into tears over not finding the same church two weeks in a row and doubting whether my husband would be willing to venture after this seemingly non-existent church for a 3rd week in a row, when "hey, there it is!"

whew!

Appearance Category:

It's easy to miss because of some really beautiful Japanese Maples that line the front of the church property. My husband missed the place again when he came to pick me up. But the church was very nice looking from the outside and on the inside. It has a small foyer, and i'm guessing the sanctuary could seat about 200, if necessary.

Greeting Category:

As i walked toward the church door, it opened. Apparently i was being spied upon. =) Two friendly ladies greeted and eagerly welcomed me when i entered, and one of them gave me a tri-fold hand-out about the church. I liked that because i always look for those. I was a little late, so i wanted to sit down but had a hard time finding a seat. One of those nice greeter ladies pointed me to a seat that turned out to be right next to her saved seat that was marked by her Bible.

Music Category:

So far, this is the most ...i can't think of the right word..... complete, thorough, appropriate, functional......praise and worship team i have seen in my search for a home church in Coldspring. I think there were four guitar players, two of whom were also singing. Also, there was a whole row of women at microphones next to the male main leader guy. And one point, one of the ladies used a tambourine - not in that annoying way you might be imagining; it was actually o.k.

Also, the projector system, you know, for the words to the songs, was the same system that CTK uses. I really like that particular system, especially after seeing a couple of other inferior system, so that was nice. oddly, all the lyrics were in lower case, except of course words referring to God. i thought that was interesting. and that's especially funny since i do so much of my blogging in exactly the same format. but i'm not sure that my blog and that display of lyrics should really have the same format....

As for the music itself, it was pretty good. I didn't know all the songs they sang, but everything was pretty easy to follow. The style part of the time was a little folky, which was interesting. It was kind of a folk, hymn, hillsong sort of blend. The expression of praise was very sincere, from the stage and in the congregation. That was really nice.

Sermon Category:

I should tell you that the pastor of this church is a woman. She has been the pastor since....15 or 20 years ago when i attended as a teenager. She's a very nice woman. Before she got up to preach, i noticed the unusually large pulpit on the platform, and ....noted that detail. But when the pastor got up to preach, she stood instead, at a metal music stand placed next to the front row of the congregation. That was kind of cool. I like a sermon that i can take notes on, and this was one. I got some very good notes and some very good insight that wasn't something i've heard a hundred times before. I liked that. It's a different experience somehow with a female pastor. This particular one is about the age and southern demeanor that it's a little like hearing a sermon from Granny. I'm not saying that's a bad thing; it's just different from the norm.

After-the-Sermon:

Oh! Interesting altar call experience. After the close of the sermon, the pastor told us to stand up and then to close our eyes, and she asked for anyone who isn't saved to - (i dont' remember whether it was raise your hand or come forward or what) - signal. Then when no one responded, she started asking specific people (who apparently did not have their eyes closed as directed) if they were saved. She settled on two teen-aged girls who seemed to have indicated that they were not saved but they wanted to be. So she called them up to the front, briefly explained, prayed with them, and told them she would get them a Bible. After that, she closed the service and directed "y'all" to come and give these girls a hug. But before hugs could be given, she prayed for all the people who are sick and the people who need jobs in one big prayer.

After the final closing, i looked around and bee-lined it to the restroom. Then on my way out the door, the pastor headed me off before i could get out and asked me who i was. We talked for a few minutes, and she made sure i filled out one of those little cards before i left. I'm always happy to fill out one of "those little cards." I'm also interested to find out what they actually do about the information i give them.

Overall Response Category:

I enjoyed the service, and i will probably visit at least one more time. I was disappointed that the church is actually located closer to a couple of neighboring towns than it is to the one i live in. And since i really want to get involved in my community, that is kind of a deterrent.

I've been asking the Lord to give me direction about what church to make my "home" church. During the service, i started to wonder if God is trying to tell me that ......i think He might be telling me to pick one and get involved. I've toyed around several times, with the idea of getting involved in a few or a couple at the same time. But i might just be scared to really commit. But here's why....i kind of see Coldspring as a whole, and i don't like seeing it separated into different church bodies. I want the different bodies to be involved together, but everybody seems to have their own thing going. I can see that God is moving on this area. Several full gospel/non-denominational churches have sprung up in the last few years, and all of them are really growing. I can see a little bit of how God has been and is breaking down the spiritual coldness that has prevailed here for so very long, and i want to get involved, but i don't want to lose the big picture.

O.k., so that's my excuse, and while i've been typing that, i've been feeling kind of like i should visit church #2 next week. I guess i'll let ya know. At least church #2 is easier to find.

=)

3 comments:

  1. hey- i think I might know about that church you went to- at least the pastor. What's her name?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah! She guest-taught at Joshua School once, think she's friends with Denise...

    ReplyDelete

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