Monday, April 15, 2019

Church Visit - Non-Denominational

Church Visits

Since leaving the pastorate two weeks ago we will be visiting various churches and will, once again, blog about our experience. I did this one other time before getting involved in another church. 

This is my fifth 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 - Non-Denominational

*Blended xxxxx

~SIZE OF CHURCH - 50 in this particular service. We attended the second of two services on this Sunday morning

~FRIENDLINESS - We were greeting by a few people in the church - not a lot of people, but a few people.

~AVERAGE AGE OF CONGREGATION - Late 30's - Early 40's

~DRESS ATTIRE - Definitely casual

~GREETING - There was a brief greeting time. I'm not certain if this was a planned thing as they were having some confusion at this point of the service regarding announcements, etc

~MUSIC - The church had a five piece band consisting of drums, bass, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and piano. Music was a bit loud for my taste so I turned down my hearing aid (yes, I do wear hearing aids). I do like that in addition to contemporary praise and worship they included a hymn at the onset of the service as well as at the conclusion. 

~BALANCE OF MUSIC VS WORD - I would say the balance was good. 

~TECHNOLOGY UTILIZED - I loved the technology utilized. They had two screens in the front and utilized Power Point. That's always a plus for me. They even put the Scripture on the screen. They also have a website you are encouraged to go to where you can follow the outline of the pastor's sermon. Yes, they actually encouraged you to utilize your cell phone during the service! I always thought that would be a great idea. You can also give online. Guests (visitors) can complete a hardcopy visitor card or complete a card online, which is what I opted to do. 

ALTAR CALL/INVITATION - There was no formal altar call given but music was played at the end that would encourage you to pray. 

~ACTIVITIES/PROGRAMS OFFERED - They have a medical mission trip coming up, Men's Bible study as well as Connect Groups (cell groups). They do have a youth pastor coming on staff soon.


~PREACHING STYLE- Conversational


~RELEVANT MESSAGE - It was Palm Sunday when we visited. Pastor was concluding a sermon series "Words From The Cross". Good solid message. 

~LENGTH OF SERVICE - 1 hour 15 minutes or so.

~OBSERVATIONS/ I enjoy the use of technology. I heard some praise and worship choruses that are new to us. That doesn't make them wrong it just means there was a learning curve for us. The words of these songs were very biblically solid and encouraging. 
For first time guests (visitors) they offered a gift bag at their visitor center. This bag contained a travel cup, mints & chocolate, a resource book for the Christian life, an invitation card to invite someone else to church, a welcome brochure along with a page of their core doctrine and beliefs. 
We also received an email from the pastor Monday afternoon acknowledging our visit and inviting us back. He also asked to let him know if we had any specific prayer requests. 
Overall, attending this church was a good experience and we would visit again. 

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

A New Day Is Dawning

It's an exciting time for Cindy and me. It truly is a dawning of a new day! Out ministry is changing and God is opening new doors for us. 

First, we left the pastorate of the church we were pastoring. Our last Sunday as pastor was this past Sunday. We love the people and wish them the best. God brought us back there just over three years ago to help with a transition. We accomplished what God brought us there to accomplish and now its time to move on to the next phase of ministry.

God really began preparing us for this transition last year as He opened doors for our music ministry, New Jerusalem Singers, more than ever before. Last year was the busiest year of music ministry we have ever had. The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart last year letting me know He was going to be leading us out of the pastorate, once again. 

It's an exciting time as well as a big step of faith for us. We are excited that God continues to open more and more doors for us. I have no doubt we will be singing more this year than even last year. We praise God for His faithfulness and His leading. We know if we follow the plan He has laid out before us we will be blessed tremendously - or as I like to say, "He will bless our sox off!"

We ask for your prayers as we walk this new journey God has called us to. Prayers that doors will continue to open, new doors will open that have never opened before, doors will reopen that have been closed in recent years, for our health needs as well as our financial needs. I have no doubt God will meet every need we have - He always has. Above all, we ask for prayers that Jesus would be lifted up in what we say and do and that others would be won to Him and Christians would be encouraged through this ministry.

We invite you to come and join us whenever we are in your area. You may check out our schedule by going to our website at and clicking on "Schedule".

If you would like to have us come and sing at your event, group or church please contact Cindy at 217 652-0423 or email us at newjerusalemsingers@gmail. com and let us know what date and time you are looking at. 

We also have a Facebook page. Just search for New Jerusalem Singers (it will have a picture and Cindy and me for the profile picture). Be sure to go to our Facebook page and "Like" us to stay in the know. 

We look forward to seeing our many friends in our travels. Between now and the next time our paths cross...enjoy the journey!


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