Week Nine of my Finding Fingerprints adventure. I’m visiting a different church every week to see all the cool things that God is up to in the various gatherings of believers in Jesus in my community. John 17, baby — Let’s find that unity that Jesus wanted for us!
Sunday #9, Nov.2, 2014
an Independent Baptist Church
about 150 people in attendance
Message: Give Thanks in All Things
This independent Baptist church is very close to our house. Fred had never been to a Baptist church before, but I spent several years worshiping in one as a child. The hymns had a gentle “Gaither” sound to them, and the feel of the service was conservative without being stuffy. I was glad we’d thought to dress a bit more formally than we would for some services; it was a suits and dresses congregation for the most part. It’s kind of nice to purposely put on your Sunday best to go to church!
The pastor greeted us when we arrived and made a dedicated point to be sure we knew we could follow up with him if we needed anything or had any questions about the church. His message was really good; well-planned and easy to understand, but rich with meaning. He admonished us to put the time and effort that often go into complaining or criticizing into, instead, thankfully counting our blessings. Simple? Perhaps in theory…but Fred and I had a good talk about how to put it into practice and hold each other accountable on the drive home!
One thing I’d never seen before: once a month they take a few extra minutes after the sermon to share what is being taught in children’s church for those 4 Sundays of the month so that everyone can be aware of what the kids are learning, and can be a part of talking about it with them. I thought that was a lovely way to allow the kids’ ministry to be in a different place in the building and age-targeted for them, but still encourage unity across generations in the church.
This is getting easier and easier each week. I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of how to be a visitor. I am not feeling weird about introducing myself to people. My smile is genuine. I am looking forward to seeing what fingerprints I can find at each church I visit. This adventure is starting to really be fun!