Mar 16, 2008
Cellphone video from Palm Sunday 2008.
Not long after we first joined our church, we were asked to take part in a committee called "Natural Church Development" (NCD). The NCD process was to develop a picture of where the church is in several areas, and identify the strengths and the weaknesses. One of our great strengths was our "Lively Worship" at our 9:30 AM Sunday service.
Part of the survey was also to identify what one was "looked for" in a church. My response was that I looked for "a palpable sense of the Holy Spirit's presence". The crude cellphone video above indicates why we chose (and choose) Bethel Lutheran Church (warts and all).
[UPDATE] The NCD survey found two places that were weak at my church. The weak spots are often what hold a congregation back form being a Great Commission congregation. Our two weaknesses were/are 1) Passionate Spirituality, and 2) Need-based Evangelism. There was a lot of confusion among the committee members what these meant. Some though Passionate Spirituality meant "Jumpin' Jesus" worship, but that's not it. Some others thought that "Need-based Evangelism" referred to doing good works (food pantry, Habitat, etc.), but they were also mistaken.
Passionate Spirituality refers to an immediate and powerful sense of God's presence in our lives, usually realized through personal prayer. Need-based evangelism refers to be convinced that people need to be told the Good News of Jesus Christ for their salvation. In response to those two needs, I have just one word: Alpha.