It's time for another church-hopping report. To recap from Part 1, I had visited a Catholic Church, Beaver Creek Baptist, and Bedside Baptist. My preference is Beaver Creek Baptist.
Since then, I've gone to St. Arthur's Church, Golgotha Baptist, Blackbelt Baptist, Over-Easy Wesleyan, and even returned to Yahoo! Baptist for Good Friday Service.
St. Arthur's Church is a church plant. It's in the gym of a school. I was a minute or two late when I walked in, but I still had people saying "hi" to me before I could sit down. I was told it was a friendly church. I was told right. However, it was cold! I don't know if I took off my winter jacket. One of Arthur's brother's was wearing shorts! Brrrrr!
They had coffee sitting off to the side. It taunted me throughout the service. I usually get my coffee at the Country Style by the highway on my way to church. The highway was not on the way to St. Arthur's Church.
The next week I went to Golgotha Baptist. Pastor Jack was preaching there when I went. The people were nice The church was old-school. Old wooden pews. I was impressed when I saw the acoustic drum set there. I was less impressed when the only instrument that was played was the organ. Not that I have anything against the organ, but the drums led me to believe I might hear more contemporary music.
Then I went to Blackbelt Baptist. That seemed like a really cool church. Their kids program, so I'm told, is modelled after that of North Point, Andy Stanley's church. That struck a real positive chord with us. We're big Andy Stanley fans. I returned to Blackbelt for Easter Sunday.
Blackbelt, despite it's small physical size had acoustic drums. Blackbelt's music was, hands-down the best music I have heard at any church. Ever. The music was so tight! And well played. I find where most worship teams are weak is during the "trans and scans." They may be great at playing a verse, or the chorus, but going to and from is usually weak. Going from one song to another is also usually weak. If you're in a worship team, pay attention to those things! Work on them. Everyone needs to know what's coming up next! Always! Even in "free worship", you need some kind of signal system.
The teams at Blackbelt did not have that problem. I also noticed that they did not use the piano/keyboard very much, if at all. I find that a lot of churches fall into this "you need to have the piano, and it needs to be the lead instrument" way of thinking. Yet few, if any, big worship leaders lead with the piano. The leader of the team on my first Sunday there lead the congregation. He didn't just sing. It's hard to explain if you've never experienced it. If you have, no explanation is necessary.
Blackbelt Baptist might have done something very smart. Most churches have greeters at the door. Blackbelt either has three sets of greeters (at the door, in the lobby, and in the sanctuary), or they have really friendly people in those locations that are good with names. I can't tell. Either way, it makes me feel good when I go there.
I went go Yahoo! Baptist on Good Friday. My friend, who's birthday it was, was going there, and I was meeting up with her. Ironically, the person I talked to the most was my friend's dad, and they don't go to that church! But it was good to see some of my old friend's from that church.
This morning I went to Over-Easy Wesleyan with the McQueens. It was kind of like a reunion. We met up with a few people who used to go to Yahoo! Baptist. The people were super-friendly. There were lots of young people there. I could see me going there more often.