Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Flamingo Road - Sawgrass Campus

Church Field Trip #13


You'll remember that Flamingo Road Church Cooper City was our very first church field trip. Their Sawgrass campus is a satellite campus - they meet in Regal Cinemas Sawgrass, they have their own campus pastor and their own live worship band, but the preaching is piped in via video onto the movie theater screen. I actually visited this church campus for their preview service on Christmas Eve 2006. There seemed to be less signage outside on this return visit. We arrived about 15 minutes early and we received 3 or 4 standard greetings on our way in. They had a merchandise booth set up near the entrance and a coffee bar further down the hall.

The worship was enjoyable, as a theater easily lends itself to a live worship experience. The worship leader, Brian Fuller, managed to touch upon the Gospel during the opening prayer. The campus pastor, Matt Miller, came out and spoke to us for a few minutes, and then the video presentation began.

On this particular Sunday, they decided to show us a taped sermon recently given by Pastor Troy while he was visiting Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas. The influence of Fellowship Church upon Flamingo Road as well as a great many other churches is undeniable. Typically, Troy preaches at the Cooper City campus and they pipe the feed into the various satellite campuses. Maybe it's just me, but knowing that it was a sermon taped and given at another church just took something away from it. It also makes me wonder what they did at the main campus? Did they also watch a video of a taped sermon given at another church? I suppose I would have rather heard Matt drop a sermon than be served left-overs.

That said, let me be clear that it was a good sermon. It was a convicting sermon, and it really did speak to me. I don't think that too much is lost from watching a preacher on a screen, except possibly the level of audience participation. To his credit, Troy tries to involve the audience, but it sometimes falls flat in the darkened theater.

Pastor Troy is obviously adept at delivering the Gospel in a clear and convicting manner, so I'll give a couple notable excerpts from his sermon on "Getting Naked", referencing John 13:1-17 (TNIV):

"It's hard to admit: I am dirty. I screwed up. I am a sinner."

"We'll say: 'God, please forgive me for my sins'. But we don't want to name them specifically."

"We don't know how to handle real authenticity."

"Most people spend their entire life pretending to be someone they're not."

"God has called us to create environments where we can be real and authentic."

"You are afraid that if people really knew you, they would walk away."

Unfortunately, we didn't get to speak with Pastor Matt, as we didn't see him before or after the service. I suppose we've been fortunate that we've been able to speak to the pastors at 10 of the 13 churches we've visited.

1 Comment:

FRC Sawgrass Campus said...

Man...sorry I missed you when you visited last week. I don't know how we missed each other???

I wanted to answer some of your observations from your visit.
Signs:
The mall has asked us to remove all signs from out side the theatre...at one point we had our coffee bar outside but they asked us to move it inside. We have had a difficult time getting signs outside due to $$ and the fact that the mall is not big on religious advertisement. The mall is under a change in ownership so I'm hoping this helps our cause.
Teaching from Fellowship:
We did show this at all campuses including Cooper City. The reason for this is, as you said, the huge impact that FC has had our our church's culture...and the huge privilege that it was for Pastor Troy to speak there.

Numbers:
For that service we had 98 adults. We do include in that number any adults that are serving, band members, tech in that count. Our biggest change was our youth - 26, children - 24, and preschool - 17 were all up in attendance which was surprising for a holiday weekend.

I'd still like to meet you...lunch?
Let me know.

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