This weekend I was offorded the opportunity to experience 4 very unique worship services. The first one was at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame, Indiana. I have never been to a full Catholic mass before, so this was a first for me. Sam Stein and I went to the 5pm mass on Saturday evening. I was glad to be with Sam, who grew up Catholic and was very familiar with the litergy. I was able to follow his lead and not feel too awkward (until I remembered that I still had the tatoo on my head from the Innovate conference!) There was a special choir there this weekend and it was very beautiful. The sound of the large pipe organ and the young voices blended together inside the airy facility in a way you don’t find in protestant churches. While I did not feel particulary worshipful in a catholic mass, I am glad for the experience. There is an awe and reverence that is unique to that environment that is not had elsewhere.
At 7:30pm the same night, we then went back to Granger Community Church, the host of the Innovate conference. This was on the complete opposite end of the spectrum in terms of style and environment. Granger has a humongeous center screen with multilple large side screens, a giant plantform / stage area and a very loud, driving Rock-sytle band complete with lights and smoke! They were just starting a new series called Heroes and this week’s message was called, “The Hero Within”. It was an excellent example of using a relevant topic, mixed with a cultural theme (the television series), and tought with biblical truth. It was definately the kind of service you’d be comfortable inviting a friend, co-worker or neighbor to come to.
On Sunday, we continued the diversity tour with a stop at the Family Harvest Church in Tinely Park, Il. The service definately had pentacostal feel to it, but the music and the singing was very heartfelt and glorious. I have personally never been in such a diverse congregation before – blacks, whites, hispanics, young and old. We only had time to stay for the beginning of the service, but it was a great blessing. It was wonderful to see old and young dancing and swaying in the choir and on the floor down front. Voices were lifted to God and all praise and honor filled the room.
The day concluded with a stop at Community Christian Church in Romeoville, Il. We came in just in time to hear the message, which was part of the current series called Soul Cravings. Dave Ferguson is lead pastor of CCC and co-author of the book The Big Idea.CCC is a multi-site church and the Romeoville campus is located in the middle of a planned housing community. They meet in the community center building which is situated right in the middle of the commuity. I picked up a copy of Dave’s book at Innovate and am very interested in reading it. CCC is an example of smaller churches using the sermon branding and cultural relevance in their method to reach the community.