Saturday, September 29, 2007
I Made the Switch
After many months of prayer, I made the switch. Some of you may remember back in November of last year, I was struggling with the "Postponement" of the contemporary service at my home church. It was not that I was searching around all that much, I just decided that one Sunday, I would go to The Loft at United Methodist Church of The Woodlands. That Sunday they started a series on Philippians and I thought to myself, "Self, maybe you ought to come the next few weeks and here the series." So I did. Then I was going to move to the more traditional service at the main campus and they started a series called ICONS. So I figured I would stay for these as well. Needless to say, a couple of weeks ago, I transferred my membership to The Loft.

The Loft focuses on 3 things:

1.) Communion with Christ through worship and scriptural study understanding that it is a lifelong process to be challenged with every day.

2.) Community of Believers through Core Groups that are gathered together in less traditional way than most Sunday School classes. They focus on the commonalities that are not as noticeable. Groups formed less by things like: 30 somethings, singles, divorced. Core Groups look beyond the easily recognizable aspects of who you are and into who you are in Christ and this world in which we live. Instead of meeting on Sundays before services, they meet during the week, at member's homes.

3.) Compassion through Service in the community of the church and the larger community of the world around us. Some programs that The Loft are affiliated with are Prison Entrepreneurship Program and Tom's Shoes.
Last week I had my first tour of The Loft Media Department and will continue working with this type of church service as I have for almost 20 years now. I look forward to getting involved in the near future with a Core Group of my own as well.

The Loft because it is challenging me again. Who I am in Christ. What Christ is calling me to do. My spirit is being fed again. In the "Lofter's Life" meeting (here's what we are about, would you like to join spiel) I went to on September 16th, I mentioned to Andy Nixon, the head pastor, there was one main reason that I enjoyed being a part of The Loft. The Loft has an emergent church atmosphere, but without some of the heretical and non-orthodox issues that can arise in them. (That statement may offend some, but there are emergent churches out there that compromise some of the basic teachings of Christianity so everyone feels welcome.) The Loft is about being close to the Lord, Compassion for Mankind, and Worship in a non-traditional sense, but it continues to practice within the Book of Discipline of the Methodist Church. That is a sweet thing to find in a day and age where I believe tradition and truth are important, but they do not have to get in the way of Christ's saving Grace and our mission as Christians to evangelize to the nations.

Below is a video shot last week at the 11:11 service. It is a new song by Brandon Heath that asks the question, "If you knew everything, every little dark secret about the person sitting next to you in church, would you sit next to them again?" It may take a bit to load, but it is worth it.

WHAT NOW by Brandon Heath


  posted at 1:00 AM

Monday, September 10, 2007
Lessons from St. Arbucks
About a month ago, there was an editorial posted at Out of Ur entitled Lessons from St. Arbucks. It is comparative piece discussing how the church can learn positive and negative ministry lessons from Starbucks. The most moving comment for me was by an individual named Melody. She commented on a few things, but what stuck in my mind was this:

2. While somewhat diverse people go to Starbucks (rabbi; youth pastor; high school girls, etc.) these people all partake of the menu but do not interact with each other, a critical concern in many of today's churches.
I had not thought about this for about a week, then, while in church Sunday, our pastor, Andy Nixon, mentioned the calling of Christ to be involved in church community. We are currently studying a series on Icons, Christ revealed to humanity. This week was a study of Christ as King. One point that Andy made, and I think it was an awesome point, was that Jesus did not ask us nicely to do this or to follow that in the Gospels, He, as our King, DEMANDED it of us. A concern in today's churches, is that there are many Christians that show up to church on Sunday with a spring in their step and a smile on their face, but it ends there, and they are not involved in the one thing that our Lord, our King, demands of us...fellowship. We all know the quotes, "Love one another." "Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name." But we just don't do it. I am not trying to preach from a high an mighty soap box here. Honestly, I have not been to a meaningful Sunday School class or had fellowship with my church brethren in about 4 months. Part of it is switching churches, and part is a time constraint (which Andy also said he could help with, if we asked). The point is, with all the turmoil in this world, and the bombardment of our senses with things that are not very Christian, why is it so hard for us to commune with other Christians, share experiences, and be a part of a bigger community within our home church. I don't know. But if anyone has an answer, please feel free to share.

Hat Tip: Guy Williams


  posted at 10:55 PM

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