Thursday, August 9, 2007

Harbour Church

Church Field Trip #8

Harbour Church is a little more complicated to describe than the past churches we've visited, here's why: Three Sundays each month they meet in various home fellowships spread out over the tri-county area. The first Sunday of each month, these fellowships gather at their location in Pompano Beach for a worship service (maybe 150 people?). Every Friday night, they also have a worship service (This is the service that we attended. We're going to attend the Plantation home fellowship one of these coming Sundays.) Some would call this a cell-church, or a house-church network. They also have common ground groups that meet at a variety of times for a variety of reasons.

When we arrived, we received two standard greetings, and then we proceeded to stand around for 20 minutes, during which not a single person spoke to us. The service began 15 minutes late (which wouldn't have mattered until we discovered that the service actually lasted more than two hours. The worship lasted more than an hour, as did the sermon.) I would describe the congregation as mostly white, in their 20's, 30's, and 40's.

The worship was awesome! I feel like I should have paid a cover charge for the experience. The band wrote their own songs, improv-jammed for almost an hour, and even spit lyrics on the fly right out of the Bible. Their sound could be described as U2, with a Dave Matthews flare for improv, and a female singer who could belt it out like Amy Lee of Evanescence. Seriously, this girl was talented. And her energy level was something I haven't seen in church before, I thought she was going to start a mosh pit at one point.

The pastor, Darren Davis, was, by far, the most enthusiastic worshipper of the bunch, even exclaiming, "I feel like I'm going to explode during worship." Darren started off by recommending the book, "Red Moon Rising". The book illustrates the idea of having a 24-7 prayer room available to Christians, and expecting those Christians to actually use it. Of course, Harbour has a prayer room. Darren is also the founder and director of Light International.

The title of Darren's sermon was "End Times Survival Techniques". He talked about the Spirit of Rebellion (think complaining church-goers), referencing Exodus 17 (NKJV); the Spirit of Religion - which keeps the kingdom from advancing because of pride (think ego-driven pastors), referencing Joshua 7:1-13 (NKJV); and the Spirit of Jezebel -"making money off perversion" (think porno, strip clubs, etc.), referencing Acts 16:17-26, where Paul and Barnabas were punished for having an adverse effect on the local economy by their preaching.

Some notable excerpts:

"during times of trouble, are we praying and singing, or are we grumbling and complaining?"
"Satan is out to destroy pioneering callings from God"
"you can never be good enough"
"you have to tear your heart open and let Jesus in"
"though we're a mess, Jesus still chooses us"
"Jesus is the source of Truth"

I'll give Darren credit for telling us that "we can never be good enough" and "you have to tear your heart open and let Jesus in", but considering that the Friday night service is their seeker service (by his own admission), I'd have hoped to hear the Gospel a little more clearly. Darren was so fired up in his preaching, that I kept waiting for Vince McMahon, Ric Flair, and the Hulkster to bust into the room. I kept waiting to hear, "What are you gonna do, brother, when Harbour church comes down on you!?" (I hope you see the humor in this, as I grew up on WWF)

One member of our posse said it best this way, "I can appreciate that they're fired up for the Lord, I had fun, but if I invited my parents to this church, it would scare the crap out of them."

Darren is a bit out there with his penchant for "prophesying", but we were definitely drawn to their "out of the box" approach to church as a whole, as well as a time of worship that could be described as nothing less than powerful and authentic. After the service, they had a time of fellowship in their upstairs lounge (plush couches, popcorn, gourmet coffee, etc.), and we got a chance to talk to Darren for about 15 minutes about his vision for the church and south Florida. As I said, we are definitely going to check out the Plantation home fellowship, as Darren told us that the home fellowships had excellent child care, awesome worship, and food.


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