Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Authentic Church

This past weekend, I was in Champaign / Urbana. Thus, I had the opportunity to attend a church and check it out. I love going to a church as a first time visitor and seeing what occurs on Sunday morning.

My in-laws live near the university. Thus, I wanted to attend a "downtown" church that I could walk to. There were quite a few options on the table but I decided to attend Twin City Bible Church.

I had heard the name of the church before hand but I can not remember where to be honest with you. I chose them for a few reasons. Some of them may seem odd:

- church name ( the emphasis on both cities )

- their vision (Christ-centered church where campus and community come together to make a difference for God's Kingdom throughout the world.

- sermon series ( the authentic church )

- website (emphasis on history and mission)

The experience overall was good. I was not in my Sunday best ( cargo shorts and a fair-trade coffee t-shirt) so I am not sure if my appearence "knocked" me down in some of their eyes.

The mixture of the attendees was a very good mix.

Their mixture of worship style was very intriguing. It was "blocked/chopped" up with both traditional and contemporary. Thus, I would not use the common phrase that it was blended.

The sermon was a "traditional" three point sermon with room for you to take notes. Overall, the message was good. Here was the Scripture:

Acts 11:19-30

The three points were the following:

- the joy of helping others journey with Christ (vs. 19-24)
- the rewards of recognizing our own need for help (vs. 25-26)
- the fruit of God-honoring help: receivers becomes givers (vs. 27-30)

I would have liked to heard more application to the points and where he/church leadership would/wants the people to do with the message and how we will strive to be "the authentic church". But, each message and message giver tackled The Word in a different manner.

If I lived in the area, I do believe that I would give it a second-look. Their vision and their mission work and their sense of connecting the campus and community is intriguing me.

I did feel a little "cold" with the greeters / usher / welcome booth BUT I did not "push" and wanted to see what their action would be. During the greeting time, I was greeted by numerous college / grad students. Maybe, they thought this old man was one of them ( only kidding ). They seemed very friendly to one another (church as a whole) and I am sure with a small initiative, you would feel welcomed.

Kudoes to TCBC on their vision / mission / outreach / education opportunities.

If I go back ( one sunday a year ? ), I may go back. However, I will be very tempted to check out another church and see what another church in town will be doing.

If you live in the town, go see them !!


Steve said...

Yo, Jeff! Thanks for your comments! I'm glad you had a good experience at TCBC. It's great to hear that the vision and mission God's given us resonate with others who come even for the first time.

The points you've made about a warm welcome (or lack thereof) are well taken--thanks for the honest assessment. We're working hard on that!

Whenever you're back in the area, we'd love to have you with us again!

Jeff Greathouse said...


Thanks for the comment. BTW, I receive a visitor letter today; so that went a long way :)

I stood at the welcome desk but was not really "recognized". So, I departed and went downstair for coffee.

You are welcome on the assessment. You have a fantastic mission/vision anI applaud that immensly.

God will definitely be working through you guys.