Church Visit #34 – September 4, 2011
Redemption Point Church – Ooltewah, TN
It’s All About the Timing
On multiple occasions this year I have been invited to visit Redemption Point Church in Ooltewah. I am not sure how or why I have ended up running into so many people who attend there, but it is one of those weird things that keeps popping up over and over. At one point earlier in the year I visited the Redemption Point website and was intrigued by the “Aspiring to be the most loving church in America” slogan right there on the home page. At the time I was really focusing on how I was welcomed into the churches that I was visiting and how the people at each church interacted with me. I thought it would be interesting to see if the people at Redemption Point were doing any better at living out their aspiration to be the most loving church than all the other churches around Chattanooga. Maybe God knew that would be the wrong reason (or maybe the wrong time) to visit Redemption Point, because it soon slipped my mind and I never felt strongly led to go there…until now. After having another one of those “chance” encounters…this time with a friend who had been on the same Walk to Emmaus that I attended in the Spring, who I ran into again at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon recently. He invited me to visit his church, which just happened to be Redemption Point. So this time I felt like it was definitely time to go, and after visiting I know why I was supposed to wait until now. I’ll go over the timing aspect of this church visit a little later, but here’s how the experience went… Read more...
Church Experience #31 – August 14, 2011
ChristWay Community Church – Ooltewah, TN
A Gang of Six
For about the past two or three months we have been attempting to visit ChristWay Community Church in Ooltewah. The problem with visiting this church is that we have multiple friends who we have been trying to coordinate with so that we can all attend on the same Sunday. We all know how easy it is to coordinate multiple families’ schedules to be at the same place at the same time during the summer with vacations, weddings, some having to work on weekends, and other obligations…it is about as easy as herding cats. So eventually we just gave up and decided that this would be the week we visited there (otherwise we may have never made it) and whoever else could attend with us would just be a bonus. Our friend Michael had just worked a 24-hour shift and was getting off work at 7 a.m. Sunday morning, so unfortunately he was out, but his wife Shannon and their two children, Lydia (4) and Eli (2), were able to make it, as was our friend Carol. We agreed to go to the early service, which began at 9 a.m. (better for the kids), and so we all planned on meeting up before the service so that we could sit together. Two weeks ago we had brought a guest with us to Rock Point Community Church, and we have visited a few churches where we had either been invited by or knew people who attended there, but I believe that this was the first week where we were meeting up with other first-time visitors to a church. I am all for any change of routine in my church visits, so I was excited that this week would have some extra dimension to it and some new “characters” for the ChurchSurfer blog. Instead of just me and Laura, there would be a gang of six first time visitors descending upon the unsuspecting souls of ChristWay Community Church, so this should really put them to the test. Here’s how it went… Read more...