April 3, 2006

First Church Visit

After resigning from my church plant two weeks ago, this weekend was the first opportunity I had to check out other churches in the area. Because I love church plants, I decided to check out a church plant in a town nearby.

Here are some things I noticed:

1. It was very well funded. They had a lot of nice equipment.
2. The pastoral staff all wore those trendy, pastel shirts; untucked of course.
3. It had good, quality music.
4. They served donuts, coffee, and juice at a welcome area.
5. There was no offering taken. They simply had boxes on tables around the meeting area for putting money into.
6. They had a baby dedication, and almost half of the congregation was family.
7. I could tell they had multiple people helping to plan and do the service and ministries.

Here are some things that needed work:

1. They haven't mastered what to do when everyone is still gathered around the donuts. It floundered a bit as they were beginning worship.

2. Besides the greeters at the door and at the children's registration table, no one welcomed us. We sat in the worship area for about 10 minutes before the service, people walked around us, but no one said hello or shook our hand until the official welcome time during the service.

3. The signage was bad. There were no directional signs from the road, nor were than any signs from the parking lot telling us which of the doors we were to enter. We were able to follow a car to the back of the school, and then follow the lady to the door.

4. They described themselves as having creative services, but the services were just like a million other churches with a point-driven sermon and contemporary music.

5. The children's area was very active, but my daughter could not tell me what they learned. She said they told a story about God. She can typically tell me about the things she did, but the things she remembered were not even close to being spiritually related or if they were she had no idea what the application was.

All in all I like the church, but felt it wasn't all that creative or different from what one might find anywhere else. They were serving some people in the community, and they are in a growing area. It is interesting to look back and think of how "unprofessional" the church plant I did must have looked. We had no where near the money or the people-support this church has.

It has given me insight into somethings I will need to differently, and something I think I did alright with.

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