Haven't talked in a while about our church visits, so I'll catch you up...
Went to a large church in town this past Sunday to check out their 11 a.m. service. We had visited the 9:45 service which meets in the gym and really liked it, so we thought we would try the later service to check that out.
When we got there we were greeted by the official greeters, but no one else spoke to us...outside of a guy whom we already knew. When we went into the service there were no ushers to help us find a seat, so we stood around awkwardly for a while until a couple moved over making room for us. The worship on this particular Sunday was...embarrassingly bad. It was so bad we almost got up and left. I don't know who the worship guy was, but he just botched the whole service. He had to start one song over three times and then he still didn't get it right. I have to think he was filling in maybe. I felt sorry for him if he was filling in because it was so painfully bad.
On another note, this guy was leading worship in jeans and a untucked no colored shirt. Okay. I get it - I understand the look and feel you're going for...except that in this case there was this full choir and piano player behind him - and even a worship team - all of whom were dressed in Business Casual. The worship guy looked like a total slob - completely out of place.
There were a lot of technical errors throughout the service, which just drives me crazy. The PowerPoint went down during the middle of a song the congregation did not know, so no one ended up singing. The worship guy finally noticed the missing slides and pointed it out and gave us the words and then...ta da! up comes the PowerPoint. During the sermon the person running the PowerPoint either didn't know where the preacher was in the message or didn't know how to run PowerPoint very well. The slides were ALWAYS behind where they should be. AAARRRGGH.
One other irritant was that these two guys sitting behind us kept talking to each other out loud. I mean the full volume kind of talking. It was very rude, but no one seemed to notice or care.
The highlight of this service was the message. Well prepared, well presented, good humor when needed. The message saved the day, but if I was grading, this service would still have received an F for so much failure. It was very disappointing.
I mentioned that we had attended a 9:45 service on another date at this church. It went much smoother, but was plagued by technical errors also, so it may be that this church has not yet figured out how to properly train their tech people. Or it may be that this is not a high value to them.
For those of you who work in churches consider this. The night before, my wife and I took a gentleman out to dinner who is new to our town. He's here working for a company and is professional in every way. He is well off in life, but alone as he lost his wife to cancer this past year. I cannot tell you how embarrassed we would have been had we invited him to that service with us. If you're in church work, pay attention to the details. It matters.
We won't be going back to the 11 service there.