This past Sunday was a unique one for me. I was able to take the Sunday off, be a church member, and sit with my family. It was amazing. I really enjoyed being part of the crowd and not having any responsibilities, except to fellowship, sing, pray, listen and heed God’s word being preached, and pray for all involved. It really was a joy. Sitting with my family without any responsibilities was a unique joy.
From the Church Seats:
Another opportunity for me sitting in the crowd on Sunday was to gain a different perspective on the church service at Champion Car Wash Field. Here are a few observations that I shared in our Sunday Review meeting today:
- Roseburg Christian Fellowship is having church at Stewart Park. Previously, when I was preaching, I could hear them practicing for their worship set. But this Sunday, being in the crowd, right below the press box, I couldn’t hear them. I was glad for that because previously I worried about that distracting people.
- I was impressed with the sound quality at the field. I have been concerned previously that things were too loud or too “bouncy” but I didn’t get that sense in the stands.
- I also noticed the false “veil” effect that the netting has on the church service. When you’re on the field preaching, you can see the net, and from the “other side” it doesn’t allow you to see facial expressions or know how the crowd is “receiving” the sermon. But on the stand-side of the netting, in my opinion, it creates a sense of being separated from the worship team and preacher.
- It’s this last point that I want to encourage us a little bit about. One of the dangers of “live-stream church” is that we can get into a “concert” or “performance” watching mode. And when we do this, we begin to think that coming to church is nothing more than what happens upfront. But, CLF, church for us, has never been about what’s going on upfront. It’s been about the gathering of God’s people, fellowshipping together, praying together, singing together, and studying God’s word together. Heather Bendele, one of our members, sent us this article recently and I think it speaks to this very well: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-church-irreplaceable. So, this Sunday, while the acoustics might be awesome, the net create a “veiled” separation, the beauty of the place is awesome…let’s not forget why we’re gathering…Christ Jesus has shed His blood for each of us and we are gathering together to worship Him…together…Let’s do that really well!
- I so appreciate the men in our church who are willing to preach at our church. Chris showed once again why I enjoy this. It gives each of you a picture of plurality of elders, with different gifts, leading CLF. That’s a really healthy thing for us.
- I was especially struck by the following:
- A great reminder of the unique man that David was: Warrior Musician; Renaissance man; Adulterer/murderer…yet man after God’s own heart. I was struck by what an amazing God we serve who uses people like this.
- Chris used an example from his wife Jamie’s job as an OR nurse. After sanitizing the room, prepping for a surgery, they found a fly on the wall. They had to evacuate the room and start over. Chris’ point was that this is like sin in our lives…there’s always a stain of sin that needs to be dealt with.
- The Lord reminded me of how condemnation causes me to look at my sin and it always brings false guilt; while convictions causes me to look to Christ for forgiveness of my sin and this brings true guilt that brings forth repentance and hope.
- Since we’ve had a few guest speakers lately (and that will continue periodically throughout the summer), some have asked: are preachers evaluated, encouraged or exhorted? How does that work? My reply is yes, all of those things happen. Here’s a few ways:
- On Tuesdays, Dave Quilla, Perry Sorensen and I meet to do a Sunday Review. At that meeting we discuss the sermon and give honest feedback.
- Then, after that meeting, either Dave Quilla or I, will visit with the guest speaker to offer some of those thoughts.
- In most situations, the preacher will communicate ahead of time about their direction for the text and sometimes guys will send me their full manuscript. This will allow me to offer some insight or thoughts or just give a “thumbs up” to them.
- But the bottom-line is that everyone who preaches at CLF is accountable…they all will receive feedback…and they are all encouraged in their faith and exhorted to keep looking to Jesus for all things.
- I am so grateful for the “company of expositors” that God is raising up at CLF.
From the Cheap Seats:
- It will be really good to see Major League Baseball playing again. Although it’s not 162+, I’ll take 60+ right now.
- There is some baseball at Champion Car Wash Field until August 7th. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the schools from around the county will be competing against one another. Come out and watch. Game times are normally 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, & 7:30.
- The writing is on the wall: Big 10, Pac12, only doing conference games…I really hope we can have football.