But I wanted to tell you about the church I visited today. One of the things I like to do on my study break is something I never get to do in the normal course of things - visit other churches! This has become an annual ritual for me and - though I love our church and think it's awesome - visiting other churches helps me see some things we could do differently (and better) and helps keep me fresh because of inspiring messages and creative elements that make me think differently (and better).
My wife, Susan, had found a church in Fredericksburg that intrigued me, so I decided to go up there and take a look. I was completely blown away. You can imagine that in a decade of studying innovative churches, I've visited a LOT of them. They vary in quality from A to Z. But this one takes the cake, by far, hands down. It was awesome. The church? Lifepoint Church in Spotsylvania. You can check out their website by clicking here or going to visitlifepoint.org.
Now, perhaps it was an atypical experience. They had a guest band in that apparently makes regular appearances at Lifepoint - The Andy Cherry Band - and they were outstanding. The technology and the artistic talent was top notch. Plus, the Senior Pastor was out on break (go figure). They had a message from Steven Furtick from Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. the audio/video quality was excellent and after a few seconds, I felt like he was in the room with us.
Other notable parts of my experience include:
- Lifepoint had a 'family worship' area, with chairs and black curtains and a monitor where families who didn't want to take their kids to the children's area could participate without disturbing others in the big room.
- The music was LOUD - but not painful at all. (WAY louder than PCC). About 500 people were in the service I attended and were really into the music and seemed to enjoy it. It was edgy and very cool. Nobody had their fingers in their ears. I thought it was excellent.
- They meet in a High School auditorium, but they use 8' or 9' black curtains (which they set up and take down every Sunday) to make the room feel 'full'. It really worked, too. The mood was electrifying and the energy was palpable. They really understood the concept of critical mass.
- People were friendly, signage and literature were excellent, parking folks helped guide you in and waved goodbye as you left.
So, I had an extremely formative experience at Lifepoint church today. I suspect you'll hear lots of things about them as they grow (and I suspect they will grow rapidly). If you are ever up that way and can check it out, let me know how your experience was!