Church visit #26 – July 3, 2011
White Oak United Methodist Church – Red Bank, TN
It’s Been How Long?
To start this week’s article I would like to take a moment to celebrate, reflect, and glorify God for a ChurchSurfer milestone…I am now officially halfway through my fifty church visits for 2011. This week is my twenty-sixth church visit of the year and I cannot believe how quickly it has gone by and the amazing things that I have experienced. The most valuable things I have taken away from the experience so far are the spiritual growth that Laura and I have both been blessed with, and the wonderful people we have met along the way. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ, that He has walked with me every step of the way, giving me discernment, understanding, compassion, humility, love, and a willingness to venture outside of a normal routine without fear of being scoffed at, ridiculed, or not accepted. These accomplishments and fruits of the Spirit serve as evidence of God’s power to work through us for good, and to build up and equip His followers as heirs and ambassadors for His Kingdom. I thank God and hope that this blog and these experiences are in some way an encouragement, an opportunity for reflection, a call to action, or a help in some way to all who read it, for it would be a major disappointment to think that this journey was in any way self-serving. With that being said, there are still twenty-five more church visits to go, starting with this one. One of my goals for the next six months will be to continue to explore different denominations, cultures, and parts of town to seek Christ in each place…how He is taught, worshiped, and glorified by different groups of believers. This can sometimes be controversial, and although Christians have plenty of disagreements, I would rather confront them rather than allow them to keep us divided (probably not a popular stance, I know). So this week I decided to attend a church that has something that none of the other churches I have been to so far this year have had…a female (senior) pastor. This is probably very controversial to some and probably no big deal to others, but it’s an experience I wanted to have, so here is how it went…