One of the area’s megachurches has intrigued me for years. I once wanted to be part of it. Now I’m not sure. Our first visit came several years ago, long before the original 52 Churches project. Now we return for a fresh look.
It’s Advent and they have an Advent service.
Consider these seven discussion questions about Church 59.
1. As we drive to their facility, I pray for our time there, what we will learn, and what God wants to teach us.
Do we remember to pray before church? What is the focus of our prayers?
2. An usher hands me a bulletin. This isn’t an usher-and-bulletin church. The paper states “Advent Liturgy.” This certainly isn’t a liturgical congregation.
How can we engage in a service if it’s different than what we expect?
3. The subdued playing lacks the excitement I anticipated. They teach us a song in Latin. The timing befuddles me. The words perplex me.
When the music doesn’t click, how can we push through and worship God anyway?
4. I assume the liturgy, restrained playing, and song are something different they’re doing for Advent: changing the familiar into something with a mystical aura.
What can we do to breathe freshness into our adoration of Jesus?
5. During the greeting time we have brief interactions with those sitting around us. But, unable to move, we then stand writhing in awkward isolation while conversations abound around us.
How can we best greet those who need it most?
6. I suspect this Sunday’s teaching is typical and the rest of the service is not. Somber music pulls me down, while liturgy pushes me away. I must work to embrace all forms of worship.
How can we help people overcome barriers to encountering God?
7. “I loved the teaching,” I tell Candy, “but I don’t have the energy to try to plug into a large church.”
How can we help people plug into our church without making them work too hard?
If you feel it’s time to move from the sidelines and get into the game, The More Than 52 Churches Workbook provides the plan to get you there.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.