This is my fourth blog post in a series I am doing on our experience visiting churches of various denominational labels, sizes and different styles of services. It is not my intent to be critical, but rather to be real and honest in our experiences. We have established criteria we are looking for at all of the institutional churches we are visiting. I do not intend to mention the church specifically by name.
I have blogged in the past about Christians who have left and are leaving the institutional church in large numbers. They are leaving for their own spiritual welfare. Most still love God but have become disillusioned or fed up with the institutional church today. I believe this is a timely series. May it open our eyes and our hearts to a deeper personal relationship with Jesus.
~DENOMINATIONAL LABEL - Baptist
~TYPE OF SERVICE
~SIZE OF CHURCH - Small (30-40)
~FRIENDLINESS - This was a friendly congregation from the pastor to the congregation. Many in this congregation know is from having sang at the church previously.
~AVERAGE AGE OF CONGREGATION - 40-50
~DRESS ATTIRE - Casual
~GREETING - We were greeted upon entrance by the pastor and his wife and then by others as they came in after Sunday School
~MUSIC - They had no musicians. They utilized video DVDs to sing along with.
~BALANCE OF MUSIC VS WORD - There was a good deal of music spread throughout the service. The message was about 40 minutes. There was fair balance of music vs Word.
~TECHNOLOGY UTILIZED - Power point projectors were used - two on each side in front and one in back for the worship leader.
ALTAR CALL/INVITATION - There was an invitation given
~ACTIVITIES/PROGRAMS OFFERED - They have a food pantry where they provide food to those in need on a monthly basis. They are starting potlucks once a month which will also celebrate birthdays for the month. They are also working on cleaning and maintenance of the building.
~BIBLE VERSION USED- KJV
~PREACHING STYLE - Pastor was more of a preacher as opposed to a conversational style.
~USE OF SCRIPTURE - There was good use of Scripture
~RELEVANT MESSAGE - The topic of the message was a good and interesting topic. However, the pastor got off topic and started "chasing rabbits". He got on to an entirely different topic.
~LENGTH OF SERVICE - 1 hour 50 minutes
*Service started about ten minutes late.
*Being in a blended service with both traditional and contemporary music was a bit of a challenge for us. While we knew both of the traditional hymns they sang, we only knew one of five or six choruses. For me, this was a hindrance to my worship as I was focused on watching the words on the screen and trying to catch the tune.
*The pastor and another minister worked together in the service each doing different things. They did seem to work well together as a team.
*The pastor did lose his place in his notes two or three tomes and had to shuffle pages of his notes to find his place.
*The pastor invited us back for next Sunday but I explained we would be at a different church next Sunday morning.