Got up early this morning and headed downtown to attend a big baptist church located there. This is a church we had been intending to visit, but just hadn't made it yet. My secretary enjoys listening to the pastor from this church and asked if we would go with her today. She's Catholic so I figured she might like to have a friend go with her, so off we went.
Got there late and found our seats, but with no usher assistance. This would be the ONLY negative I would have to say about this church. They did have the doors well manned by volunteers, so that was good. But still there were no ushers. Maybe they don't use that system?
Anyway, the sanctuary is absolutely beautiful. It's an old style room that has been nicely updated so that it is contemporary with a connection to history and tradition. The seats are individual with arm rests and the balcony is cool. It has awesome staircases that swoop down onto the stage. Speaking of the stage - very clean look. Open, warm and inviting. It has beautiful wooden arches that are awesome. In between two of them on each side they have the screens, except that there are no screens. The projector shows the picture on the wall in between the arches and it looks cool. I really liked it. Well done. Well placed. Well thought out.
The early service is contemporary with a worship team on the side and the worship guy in the middle, leading. The band consisted of electric and acoustic guitarists, a keyboard, electronic drums, a brass section and a piano player. The worship service was a home run. You could hear the lead guy over the worship team. You could hear the music which was blended just right. When there was a guitar solo or a brass solo, it came in at the right time and sounded sweet. And check this out. NO technical errors. NONE. Notta! First church we've visited that actually has their act together with technology and people. I loved that!
The worship line up was contemporary with a touch of traditional. And it was what I call "adult" worship. You didn't have to stand up too long. The songs were arranged in a good, easy to sing manner and the hymns were sung like hymns - they weren't rocked up or changed in tempo but they sounded really good.
The sermon was excellent. It had a good intro that tied the message to scripture. It had humor. And it had practical application. The pastor tied it in with ministry in the church which was a piece of the service from earlier in the morning. I loved that. Too many pastors tend to ignore what is happening in the rest of the service instead of tying everything together in a unifying service. That drives me crazy.
The congregation was comprised of young professionals, singles, some children and some older folks. It was a great mix of people.
And check this out too. The pastor mentioned to fill out the attendance card well before offering time. We've been in churches where it was never mentioned so we didn't. He told us that if we would fill it out they would have a package material from the church at our house today and that he would contact us also. So we filled it out and put it in. Sure enough...when I got home from doing my open houses today there was a package here with materials from the church and a nice coffee cup. I suspect we'll hear from the pastor too.
All in all, this service was an out of the ballpark home run. It was great and it was nice to be there. If it weren't for the driving thing, we would probably be inclined to attend the church weekly. However, even with the drive, it is a place that we'll visit regularly. It's a place that gets it right and that is too good to pass up!