Church Experience #36 – September 18, 2011
Harvest Bible Chapel – Chattanooga, TN
Despite My Best Efforts
A few months back I spent a day volunteering at J-Fest, which is an all-day Christian music festival put on by the local Christian radio station, J103. I served at the information booth for Men’s Ministry Network, a local ministry that I am involved with, and during part of the day I thought it would be a good idea to visit the rest of the booths at the festival to get information about other local churches that I might visit this year for the ChurchSurfer blog. Just a few spaces down from our booth was an energetic group of people representing a yet-to-be-officially-launched church called Harvest Bible Chapel. I thought it was a little odd that a church that technically did not exist yet (although as Christians we all know that this group of people was already a church) would have a booth at a Christian music festival (which translated means I can’t believe a church would actually be that organized and able to plan ahead, especially one that hasn’t even launched yet…but then again, maybe that’s why they were able to be organized…they weren’t dealing with the craziness of full-on church life yet). So I gathered some literature from them, which I of course didn’t really look at (limited time), and was invited to an informational “party with the pastors”, which I of course didn’t attend (limited energy), and then I filed a reminder to attend their first real worship service in the back of my mind somewhere (limited capacity) that pretty soon got lost (limited functionality). I thought it would be a really cool experience to attend the first-ever worship service of a new church, but as you can see, I obviously had all of my excuses in place in case I missed it. Apparently God had a different plan for me, because despite my best efforts to botch this up, someone (don’t ask who, I’ve already filed that info away) mentioned the launch of Harvest Bible Chapel Chattanooga to me in conversation a whole week in advance of their inaugural worship service of Sunday, September 18, which rattled my forgotten memories of J-Fest back into focus. I can usually handle remembering something for a week, so I felt confident that I would make it there on Sunday and experience the (public) birth of a church. Here’s how it went…
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