Monday, July 23, 2007

Community Christian Church

Church Field Trip Report #6

Community Christian Church caught our attention because they are about to move into a new facility over 6 miles away from their current facility. They presently have four services every Sunday in an older church building that holds about 300. We arrived a bit early and were greeted by the Senior Pastor, Scott Eynon (probably in his 40's). He talked with us awhile, and then we talked to Stephanie, the Connections Director, and also Brian, the Worship Pastor, as well as a couple other members who took the time to get to know us. Our friends checked their children into the kidz ministry and we missed the first song of the worship set, "Freedom". (Our traveling posse grew from 4 to 9 this week.)

The music set was classic contemporary. One of the songs we sang was, "Shout to the Lord", (that should speak volumes to some of you. If not, I'll just say that this song is statistically, the most played song in churches for the last 14 years running).

The pastor spoke about "How to get along with other people - Anger Management". He quoted a bunch of verses out of Proverbs, as well as a few other Bible verses. He used a variety of Bible translations, relying heavily on The New Living Translation and The New International Version. He also used Today's English Version, New Century Version, and The Living Bible.

During his sermon about controlling our anger, he used Jesus as an example of how we can choose to forgive rather than react with anger. "Jesus, who had been beaten, crucified, and slandered, chose to forgive them. Jesus had the strength and the power to not get angry with others."

He closed with an excerpt from a book by Andy Stanley, "It came from within". During the closing prayer, he told us that we could "ask God to step into our life and help." God could give us "wisdom, courage, and discernment." He could help us to "reconcile our relationships with others."

As far as I could tell, the Gospel was a no-show. But what we did next was the true irony of the situation. This church shares communion every Sunday. As they are handing out the elements (bread and juice), there is a power point slide up on the screen that reads, "The unleavened bread reminds us of Jesus' body and the cup of juice reminds us of Jesus' blood. If you are a believer, you are invited to join us. Please eat and drink after prayerful meditation." Once again, it seems to me that it is a foregone conclusion that everyone in attendance is familiar (and apparently bored) with hearing the Gospel. What exactly is the bread and juice reminding me of again? Oh, that's right, it is reminding me that Jesus had the "strength and the power to forgive His enemies rather than be angry with them for killing Him."

After the service, everyone was very friendly and we spent some time talking with the pastors some more. The worship pastor finally realized that he and I had sat next to each other in an all-day break-out session during a recent "Wired Church" conference at Flamingo Road Church in April. It will be interesting to see how this church evolves once it moves into its new building this fall.

Follow-up: Someone from the church dropped off a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies at our front door this week in a bag bearing the church logo, with a note thanking us for our attendance.

1 Comment:

Natty Bummpo said...

haha gotta love Mr. Beckner (worship pastor). oh and they've been moving into the new location for almost a year and a half lol. the youth are all waiting...we're like oaky when's it gonna happen.....

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