So hop2 went fine. The people there were much nicer than those at hop1. Many of them said hi, welcomed us in, things of that nature. This goes a long way for me. I’m not looking for a social club to be part of, but I _am_ looking for a loving community of believers. So, things were positive.
Three hymns were sung to the music of an organ, a piano, and a keyboard. I can’t help but note that the organ reminded me for all the world like a synth organ that belonged in a ballpark. I kept expecting to hear Harry Cary say “Play Ball!” when the organ lady finished a song.
The leaders there were _really_ enthusiastic. It was refreshing. Many churches are very stayed and reserved in their presentation styles. Nothing wrong with that, I’m just observing that this “Whoohoo!” style of getting the service going was nice for a change.
The preacher was, from all I can gather, a visitor. It seems he may be, oxymorically, a regular visiting pastor. It wasn’t terribly clear. More on this later. His sermon started off kinda scary: he was definitely getting all Bible-thumpin’, sweatin’ while he’s preachin’, pound-that-idea-into-hard-skulls-through-repitition style on me. It originally sounded like he was going to exigete (sp?) from the selected passage (James 5:1-11), but he didn’t spend any real time there at all. He focused on the word “patience” from the passage, then just started chain-gunning out other references to the word “patience” throughout scripture.
This style is _really_ sketchy in my book. If he’s going to quote single words and small phrases from front to back of the good book with nary a second to flip and look at the verse myself, I have no idea if he’s uses the word/phrase within context or not. Worse yet, he wasn’t even giving verse references, just book and chapter. I’m just not quick enough to keep up with that sort of thing.
He continued in this manner for about 40 minutes, sometimes spending a little time to bring in a Bible story to back up a point on patience. He kept things on topic, I’ll give him that. He ended with an altar call, something that never rubs me the right way in a regular church service. Then it was over. In short, he just sort of brow-beat the point out that patience is required, and that the prayers of the saints are powerful.
The sermon seemed really lacking. Nothing was inherantly wrong with the message, but nothing was really right about it either.
In short, this church is going on the list of churchs that Melissa and I may go back to, but we’re going to keep looking. Since this pastor was apparently a visitor, the normal pastor (if there is one?) may be much better. I have no way of knowing. It’s not as though I can really ask a member “hey, is this guy always here, or do you have another pastor for me to choose from”? I’m a bit wary of going back just because the church must have invited this guy, so maybe that is the sort of sermon they want? I dunno.
Anyway, this week was light-years better than last. We’re gonna keep up the search.