Monday, August 20, 2007

Church by the Glades

Church Field Trip #10

Technically, this wasn't a field trip because this would be considered our "home" church. If you'll remember, my wife is a teacher at their school, Glades Christian Academy. But I'll still do my due diligence, and report on our worship experience at the church.

I find it humorous that many people have to be persuaded and coerced into attending church on a Saturday night, rather than a Sunday morning. As far as we're concerned, when given the option, we will always opt for sleeping in. So it goes without saying that we attended the 6:30 pm Saturday service (they also have a 5 pm service, and 4 more on Sunday morning). Upon arrival about 20 minutes early we milled about and spoke to some familiar faces in the outdoor Starbucks coffee cafe. I think it's called the CBG Grind Cafe, but they serve Starbucks, which is all that matters to most. As we entered the 800? seat auditorium (which almost filled to capacity), we received one standard greeting.

The worship music was high-energy and very professional. I would describe the music as being standard "new-school" contemporary - Lakewood, Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, David Crowder, etc. They had a guitarist that was definitely sporting an edgier look than the sound, with tats and piercings. I like the presence of "street cred" in a band. The worship leader, Justin, also sports a forearm tattoo and a rocker 'fro. (I believe the first time I saw him, he was sporting a faux-hawk.) Pastor David Hughes explained that they were experiencing technical difficulties for the night, but it wasn't obvious, as this was easily the most high-tech worship experience that we've seen to date. (I wonder what we missed.)

The Message Series, that began this week, is titled, "i - Living in a Self-Absorbed World". During the series, first time guests will be given $15 gift cards to i-Tunes, and an i-Phone will be given away as well. Pastor Dave told us that the Palm Beach Post printed an article giving him a hard time for "using a gimmick to bring people into church". (PBP article, Money Times article, United Press article, Engadget article, Switched article, Gizmodo article, iPhone Matters article, Jacksonville News article, as well as more than a dozen blogs already commenting on the matter) Dave is a self-admitted evangelist and has always made it clear that his primary concern is bringing people into a real relationship with Jesus.
Some notable quotes from the sermon:

"Your 'calling' isn't always by compulsion, it usually involves choice"

"God wants to renovate your life. It will cost you, it may be painful, but the outcome will be spectacular."

"Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. He will engage you in relationship, set you free, and He will save you."

"Our core beliefs drive our choices and our choices have consequences."

Pastor Dave referenced Romans 12:2 (NASB) as well as Proverbs 3:5-6. I should point out that he excels at audience participation probably better than any other preacher I've heard. He consistently involves the audience by asking questions which are sometimes rhetorical and sometimes require one to raise your hand and even sometimes respond audibly (quite a feat in a room with almost a thousand people - most preachers wouldn't bother). Dave also consistently has the congregation read along with the scripture passages as well.

He finished off by telling us that "God will forgive you and accept you. You can give your heart to Christ. Come to Christ so He can change and transform your life. You only get one chance at this life, there are no do-overs."

After the service, Pastor Dave and his wife, Lisa spent about 15 minutes speaking to us and encouraging us concerning our recent travels. I can remember 7 years ago when Pastor Dave used a "gimmick" - clips of Mel Gibson's Braveheart & The Patriot - that brought my wife into a relationship with Jesus and brought my relationship with her to a whole new level. This is the church that taught us that church can be fun, and 7 years later, we still had fun at Church by the Glades.


Anonymous said...

The choice of accepting God, is not one of your own. What I mean is God makes the choice for you, for he knows who he has elected to be saved. You as a sinner would never chose to have God in your life. You are born a sinner, and you would die a sinner if God did not show his grace on mankind by sending his son to die, but he still understood that man would never willing chose God and that is why it is called being elect. Man is sinful and needs to be reminded of it everyday. Yes, there are true quotes about Christ, but it is so over looked by trying to please everyone, but God's word is suppose to do more that just make you happy. God is called Lord and Father for a reason, though we can praise God in many different ways, we must remember that certain elements of this church are not to be apart of any church. We as Christians are to be set apart of this world, we should not glorify the outside world. I have listen to this man before misquote and use materials that are not apart of the bible, and this is very dangerous. I personally would never bad mouth any church, but one this church had a lower membership it was at least teaching bible. Gimmicks are things that the devil would use, and yes this former institute is gimmicky.

David said...

Dear Anonymous, pre-destination that you speak of excludes people from a relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe our God does not exclude anyone. Heaven is open to all who will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior - period. While God leads us to a relationship with Him, it is our choice to choose God.

I have attended CBTG a couple of times when visiting friends in Coral Springs and found David Hughes to be scripturally sound and preaching the message of Jesus Christ. I also believe that we are all responsible for reaching people where they are and if an iTunes gift card gets them there and this is the only time they will ever hear the message of Christ, then even if one person comes to Christ, WOW - I would call that a huge win for the Kingdom. The devil is not in the business of giving away iTunes cards or iPods while preaching the message of Jesus Christ, and while I can guarantee the devil hates David Hughes and what CBTG is doing, he is not involved in their ministry - other than trying his hardest to destroy it. The good news is, I read The Book and the devil loses!!

Yours in Christ,

David Daniels <><

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