Our new church has worked out well so far. Our family, having come from a “missional” and “transformational” church with a pastor who is angry when challenged has needed to heal. We’ve really enjoyed coming to church just to hear the bible preached. The church we attend preaches straight through on most every Sunday. We’ve needed this. No pressure to join a small group every week, no projects and slick presentations. No recycling of themes just in case we’re too dumb to get the message. It’s all about the bible, all about study.
There recently was a reminder that we cannot just be hearers only though, but doers, and there are churches being planted. There are missionaries to support. Most of all, there are needs in the body, and that seems to be the biggest way service is done. Prayer is very important too, with prayers in service several times, several times a week we get a prayer/praise email with real messages from the body. This little church takes prayer very seriously.
Verse by verse, it’s a theme that goes beyond the pulpit. We’re still in John, it’s been over a year, and we’re not halfway through yet in the weekly services. In bible study we’re going through Revelation. The pastor teaching this has been doing it for weeks and we’re still on the very first verses. It’s refreshing, some may think it’s boring, but to me it’s great to get all the background. We don’t attend on Sunday night, it is a service for the body. They get together for a lesson in proverbs. Next they divide into groups such as teens, a bible club for the younger children, and something for the adults. I know special choirs practice also on Sunday night. I also know something goes on Wednesday night, we haven’t investigated. There are also small groups meeting everywhere. There is also a class in the week called the “bible institute” and I believe it’s a very in depth class in the bible but also possibly including church history. I’m a bit fuzzy though it’s brought up every once in a while.
This church is also a place for Deaf people. There is an interpreter for everything in the service, actually there are several. They trade off, and will interpret every word spoken from the pulpit. If needed in a bible study, they are there too. If a song is played with no words, the words of the song are still up on the screen in front or a bible passage is printed.
I believe some time our next step needs to be getting into more in this church. We have avoided small group. Part of this is because our schedule is busy, however, it’s always been busy before and at our former churches (since we began as married people) we’ve always been in a small group. However, I recall the important thing to me was not the fellowship alone, but bible study. I do think that was a need in the churches I attended before. I did need the fellowship and friendships before, but small group was where I tried my hardest to push bible study. I know now I did this because I needed to be fed somewhere, I wasn’t getting it from the pulpit like I should (not that missional/transformational churches don’t ever preach from the bible, they do and you can get SOME food there…but not nearly what I needed to grow). The church we attend now has a pulpit rich in “spiritual food.” Rich. So, I believe small group can actually be more of a social time, a time to be in fellowship, to serve one another and be served. We probably should seek this out next fall, and arrange our lives for it. We should find a group that includes kids, our kids need to get to know others in the church. I have a sneaky feeling though, that small group in this church is not like what I’ve experienced since we got a few friends together years ago and went verse by verse through John every week on our own. One was a seminary student, and we just really studied the bible…evangelized to friends we brougth with us who weren’t Christians, and enjoyed one another. No book themes, no marketing, no projects, just study.
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