Monday, April 16, 2007

A new church?

I grew up in two different churches. From age 2-10, we went to Waterford Community Church (Check out their website Gammonses. Mary Jane (Strader) Johns is the worship director) in the Detroit Area. From age 10-until I left home, I went to Word of Life Baptist Church in Alpena. My mom still goes there. In my dad's eyes, there was nothing worse than church hopping. Church was a community that you committed to and then worked on from the inside. This has always been my longing for church as well. Since I left Alpena though, we have struggled to find this.

Yesterday we tried out the north campus of Bethlehem Baptist Church. This is John Piper's church. There are three campuses. He is at each one every third week and the other two weeks, you watch his sermon on video. This is obviously a little weird, but I think it would be something we could get used to. We decided to try out BBC because we thought it would be a little more traditional, great teaching and more focused on the Bible. We were right on all accounts.
  • The teaching was great. Piper doesn't mince any words and just preaches through the scriptures.
  • Traditional? Out of the 8 songs that they sand during worship, four were the following hymns.
    • "Thine is the Glory"--Budry/Handel
    • "Standing on the Promises"--R. Kelso Carter
    • "Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven"--Lyte/Andrews
    • "Day By Day and With Each Passing Moment"--Skoog/Sandell-Berg/Anhfelt
The other songs were one from the Getty's at Parkside Church, "Thy Word" by Amy Grant, and a Fernando Ortega song. It was pretty emotional. It seemed like God was meeting me exactly where I was at. It was great.
  • The Bible. The whole service was focused on the Bible. They read about a chapter of scripture that the teaching was based on. They quoted scripture throughout the worship. It was good.
We are definitely going back next Sunday. It will be a difficult decision to leave the church we're at now. We have met some great people who we have gotten to know. I have been meeting with some guys on Monday mornings and they will be a difficult group to leave.


Sharon said...

I was listening to Alistair, Amanda's old pastor, today on the radio and he was talking about the importance of joining a church. That's been an issue at my Alpena church and so I listened closely. He said that he had spent some time with some Christian men who during the course of the conversation said that they were not members of a church and didn't intend to become members. They were regular church goers, loved Jesus, and were somewhat involved in service in the churches they attended but felt strongly that they would not go through the process of membership. He was discouraged by all of it and went on to teach about the importance of finding a church, committing to it by becoming a member, and then finding a way to serve there. I followed Don's lead in all of that. He, like you said, believed that we wouldn't really feel like the church was ours if we didn't commit to it and join it! It's kind of like a choose your mate prayerfully and carefully, sign the license, commit to that person before God, and then try your best to make it work. There aren't any perfect mates and certainly no perfect churches...filled with sinners saved by grace...but it looks like the one you visited Sunday is a good one. Speaking of Waterford Community Church, I just looked in my Bible and I had written something that Pastor Whisenhunt said one Sunday over 20 years ago. Here it is.


1. fellowship
2. teaching from God's word-edification, preaching
3. worship
4. evangelism

Then he added this...methods may differ! That still makes sense to me. I'll be praying as you search for the right place for your precious family. As Don always said, "I know you'll do the right thing".

Anonymous said...

I got quite a kick out of reading about Mary Jane Strader. I also thought she was so cool and Steve Johns was definitely the babe at WCC. I almost left a message on her blog but chickened out.

Sharon said...

I also enjoyed reading about the Strader/Johns family. It was fun that she mentioned her mom and quoting scripture. It made me think of her teaching Tricia's SS class and giving little ceramic dogs to the kids who memorized a psalm.