Last week I wrote about how important it is for the church remember that whatever else we might do, we are to be about pointing people to Jesus. This past Sunday, I got the chance to see it in action with a few people from my church as we went on a mini-worship tour in Indy.
Earlier this year, our worship leaders at church approached me with the idea of having a class for teens who wanted to be a part of the worship team about leading and participating in worship. I thought it was a great idea and encouraged them to go for it, with one caveat, the class had to end with a worship field trip to other churches that I would help put together.
Well this past Sunday the day had finally arrived and I had scheduled us to visit three churches in northeast Indianapolis:
- Holy Spirit Parish at Geist (Catholic)
- Eastern Star Northeast Campus (African-America Baptist)
- Second Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church U.S.A.)
While we only got to the first two (by the time Eastern Star let out we were not going to make it to Second Presbyterian in time), it was still an amazing morning. Within ten minutes we experienced two of the most radically different worship experiences you could possibly imagine. There was nothing similar in the worship or teaching experience. The two churches had obviously different self-understandings, and radically different views toward welcoming visitors. It is difficult to even imagine what these two churches could possibly have had in common.
Except for Jesus.
And in this way, they were wonderfully alike. Both churches made everything they did an effort to point to Jesus and say in no uncertain terms, “This is LIFE! He is our source, or very reason and power for existence!”
It was beautiful. It made real so much of the theoretical musings I have written and read about the unity of the church around Jesus. It made me glad to be a part of the church, and to call these people brothers and sisters.
It is for this reason that I would like to offer a challenge. Go visit 2 or 3 different churches some Sunday morning soon.
Not because you’re looking for a new church, or because you want to critique their style or your own, but simply to worship with brothers and sisters in Jesus who do it differently than you. I hope you’ll find that Jesus is everywhere, saying lots of things to lots of people, and bringing life to all who will hear.
Just remember, plan on visiting the African-American church last because you never know how long the Spirit will move there.