yesterday was my whirlwind trip to minneapolis. the purpose was to buy the dinner table from ikea that pam has been wanting since our last trip over there. since i was going i thought i could visit a couple of churches that i was familiar with but had never really experienced. i went with the purpose of visiting hope community church and solomon’s porch but some where along the day i found out that i also had the opportunity to visit another church, jacob’s well, whose website looked interesting, and was only two blocks away from solomon’s porch (apparently there are several different churches in minneapolis named “jacob’s well”). it was a wonderful day of very diverse and yet very similar worship of our CREATOR.
so here are my thoughts on the churches:
hope community church
- tons of college students which hopefully will be similar to what the make up of tapestry will be. it was a wonderful vibe.
- there was a real excitement in the room – people were glad to be there.
- the music was incredible – i felt very connected to the group when we were singing
- the church was about more than a service – things the church was doing were brought up many times within the service (not in a marketing manner but in a “let’s be a part of the kingdom” type of thing) – i particularly loved the “older” members wanting to take care of the college students during their study time before finals.
- lots of involvement from the community of faith – i already knew steve, the lead pastor, from my assessment, so i knew that he’s a guy who doesn’t have to be the center of attention. still i was impressed when i didn’t see him “in front” of the church at all until the sermon came about. everything else was done by different people. i didn’t count how many people acted as leaders during the service but i know it was over five different people. it was definitely a service that came from the community of hope.
- tons of art that i am assuming came from the community of solomon’s porch – it was all good stuff but it didn’t feel like they had just randomly brought in people to do art for art’s sake. instead, all the art felt as though it was people from within the community trying to express their faith. there was a 7′ to 8′ model goose hanging from the ceiling – i’m not sure what it was expressing but i thought it best not to sit under it just in case it was equiped with the ability to “bomb” those beneath it.
- no announcements – the only thing i would have considered even close to an announcement was young lady at the end of the service who told the gathering of CHRISTmas lights being made by prison labor in china and our need to no support that with our finances – not really anything like an announcement. it was really nice to worship without being interrupted by what is usually just marketing. the announcements were in other forms throughout the building.
- i loved the couches that filled the room – the whole thing felt like a living room.
- it was stranger friendly – i wasn’t raised in church and therefore i get a little picky about churches doing “churchy things” and not even attempting to explain what’s going on. solomon’s porch explained everything. it was great.
- there are a lot of “power structures” set up within normal church buildings (pulpits separate the speaker from the people, microphones make one voice louder, etc.)- solomon’s porch didn’t have any of these and seemed to enjoy doing the opposite of what these power structures demand (for example, there were apparently two members of the community who are the “pronounce guys” for difficult words who would tell doug pagitt how he should pronounce those words – i don’t know many pastors that would be cool with that). it ws awesome.
- i went to an evening service that they had apparently just begun and i missed the first 20 minutes of the service. i think i caught them on a bad night and so i won’t say anything other than the leadership team seemed to really love each other and i think that’s important.
there are actually many more wonderful things that i could say about hope community & solomon’s porch but i’m pretty tired from putting pam’s table together and therefore i am stopping for the night.