Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Church Adventure: Expect the Unexpected

Every step we take, every breath we breathe, every word we speak, every thought we think, everything we do is a part of a plan, His Plan, right?
Last weekend was no different!! We had scheduled Sunday as a work day, to have help installing ceramic tile in the master bathroom (I will post pictures soon). We had a few Saturday evening church services to pick from. One in particular was making me a little uncomfortable every time we discussed it. It’s website states: “We feel that church should be a place where everyone participates, not just a place to sit and watch.” Personally, this sounded a little intimidating, participation in church for us up to the present has included us greeting, singing, praying in unison and maybe once in a while an amen or hallelujah would be expressed audibly (not by us). Even while we were in our first phase of our Church Adventure, we never experienced any service that deviated too far from the traditional “sit and watch.” The idea of participating or contributing sounded like a small group. We love our small group at VPC, we also know everyone there. To do this when we were visiting a church for the first time and not knowing anyone, made us a little anxious and would undoubtedly be different.
The Hill family were all in, we decided that we would give Dutilh Church Mars Campus a visit. We actually visited it earlier in our Church Adventure, it was shortly after it was acquired by Dutilh Church. From what I remember, it was a traditional service, we were welcomed, we sat in pews, we were quiet, we prayed, we sang, and we listened. Nothing really stands out as I reflect on our first visit. I noticed the I missed recording it in our adventure, hmmm…not sure how that happened.
Now back to the present (last week), as we walked through the doors, I noticed  they had renovated their sanctuary. They removed the carpet and the pews and also installed hardwood flooring. They had a little coffee shop set up, and as I mentioned they did the ultimate swap out, pews for several five foot round tables. That was the moment we realized, they were not exaggerating on their website, they really mean “everyone participates.” We were faced with a decision we had never had coming into a worship service, which table will we sit??? We were welcomed, and a family we did not know insisted we sit with them, they were table hosts/leaders and an integral part of making us feel relaxed in this new environment. The service consisted of singing with the praise band, prayer, announcements and a message/sermon and then we broke into our round table, or small group discussions. We shared input, we laughed, we prayed, and we broke bread together, after the small breakout, we then had an opportunity to discuss with the whole group, and pastor. The service concluded with a song. One thing that I have noticed in this adventure that I personally need, is that the end of the worship service should have music, preferably singing, that can make or break the entire experience, it’s a small detail, but one I appreciate tremendously. The Pastor was relevant, transparent, and also made us very comfortable being there. The praise band included a vocalist with an acoustic guitar, bass guitarist, and percussionist. They had a great balance, with good clean sound.
As we were leaving, as we have always done during this adventure, we discussed what we liked and what we disliked. Everything we experienced at Dutilh Church Mars Campus was positive, something that definitely stood out the most for all of us and shocked me, is that it felt so comfortable.
We will be revisiting this church tonight. We all are pretty excited about returning for a second week of worship.
My Thoughts:
This is all a plan, His Plan. This reminds me that the comfort zone I often embrace, is not at all where He wants me to be. I know being complacent is not what he has planned for me. So here is to: being uncomfortable, looking outside of the box, going where He leads me, even if I don’t understand why or where it will take me. Last week He proved to me to expect the unexpected. He has plans for you and me. We just have to be willing to take that step of faith, or go on that adventure… Trust and He will provide…
From their website:
At New Day we believe church is a verb. Our goal is to create an environment where people rejuvenate themselves before going out into the world and living Christ 24/7. We feel that church should be a place where everyone participates, not just a place to sit and watch. Church is a time where you can ask those tough questions and never feel ashamed to be yourself. We built this service on Acts 2:42, which says that the early church devoted themselves to teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. Those are the building blocks on which we base our faith.

Thanks for visiting and reading my blog. Have a blessed weekend!!

Are you curious what this Church Adventure is all about? You can find out more by clicking here.

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