Christ Community Church…A Somewhat Closed Experience

[img_assist|nid=129499|title=Christ Community Church Sign on 100th Avenue|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=258]I had been intrigued by a church in the Campbell Lake area on 100th just west of Minnesota. I’d passed it a number of times on my way to a teaching assignment. After investigating I discovered it was Christ Community Church and paid them a visit on August 10.

Cool Arrival
Entering the church I passed through a small knot of members absorbed in busy conversation but too busy to note a visitor and extend a greeting. I picked up a bulletin from a table by the door into the sanctuary and took a seat. Finding I’d picked up two bulletins, I went back to return the extra one only to rediscover I must be invisible as still no one spoke to me. After sitting again, an older member, ambling down the aisle stopped and introduced himself extending a greeting. Another member also came over greeting me before the start of the service.

Large Musical Group for Church Size!
The service commenced with singing and playing by a musical group on the platform of the church. I counted 12 singers/players including the pastor, Tracy Simmons, who led out with guitar. Outside of church choirs, this was the largest group of musical performers I’d encountered in any of my church visits, all the more remarkable because of the limited size of the congregation. We were asked to stand and sing, and sing we did, standing for one of the longest 20 minutes I’ve ever experienced. Finally, some of the older worshippers sat down (in weariness I presume). I personally feel 20 minutes of standing and singing is too long regardless of one’s age and urge this church to examine this practice. Much of the music was unfamiliar to me but had somewhat of a folk bent. The music was good but as noted, a bit long.

Baptismal Experience
I counted about 50 worshippers including the one-fourth of whom were in the band. The pastor finally brought the singing to a close, saying he needed to go prepare for the baptism. and to “Say hello to one another”. He disappeared. This initiated a general visit and “meet n’ greet” time of which I was basically excluded with no one, to my recollection, greeting me.

As it turned out, the baptismal candidate was a young boy who got cold feet that day, literally and figuratively. The baptism was ultimately deferred with the pastor returning to the stage after a time. He was in jeans and barefoot, while the assistant pastor was in shorts. Overall, the church was extremely casual church with lots of jeans and other casual wear.

Lost
The theme of Simmons’ sermon was “Lost & Found”. Following the events described, I was unable to gain much relevance from his remarks. Very casual and informal, the service concluded with an alter call of sorts. I did detect a familial warmth among the members/worshippers but felt it was reserved for their “closed family”. I’m sure this church represents much to its members. However, I felt a distinct lack of religious cohesiveness during my visit. Nothwithstanding, Christ Community Church is worth a visit for someone seeking an informal service. As for me, it felt more like a community meeting than a vital worship service.

I know I hammer on this, but if this church extended themselves to outsiders, and tightened up their servicea, they could possibly make this a more inviting worship destination. Leaving the church and going to my car, I left alone and unnoticed.
[img_assist|nid=129500|title=Christ Community Church – Front View|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=224]

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