Last night I went down to visit an exciting new church plant in Eastern NC named Church Relevant. Besides the fun of a road trip, the anticipation of where I was going had me totally psyched up. I have had this new church gathering on my radar since mid-November and have been extremely jealous and wanting to be a part of what they are doing despite the fact that they are located nearly 100 miles from where I now live.
Loud gathering music, friendly people introducing themselves, the cozy smell of coffee meeting me at the door – all in the first 15 seconds. I was instantly energized by it. I was comfortable with and knew what to expect in a postmodern setting. So what was the biggest surprise of the night? The message delivered in an energetic, conversational style that I personally like? Nope, I’ve listened to some of their prior podcasts and knew I liked the pastor’s delivery style already. All the friendly people hanging out and enjoying each other’s company? Nope, been in churches with great commaraderie before (and frighteningly, those without it). Was it the lighting, backdrops, speakers, soundboard and techno stuff? Nope, have worked with those all before.
The biggest surprise to me was how much I’d forgotten that I need to be in an environment that truly feels to me like we’re reaching those coming to know Jesus perhaps for the first time in today’s world using today’s cultural trappings. New believers, in other words, and pre-believers. Missional church.
The CR was really close to what I would like to a part of. I’ll keep praying that God will lead me into such a community. He wouldn’t put the desire burning in me if it wasn’t where He’s planning on taking me.