Meanwhile, Back At CrossHope Chapel
In the morning, thousands of people will wake up and get ready to attend a church of their choice. Some will put on their best clothing, some will happily re-wear something from the day before, and some will be more concerned over their toddlers and children keeping their cloths clean at least until they are checked into their Sunday School programs within a secluded room away from the adults.
They will make their way to their church’s sanctuary where they will take a seat and wait for the service to begin. They may shake some hands, extend some greetings, and in larger churches answer the same questions they did the week before about not being a visitor and yes, we’ve already been asked to serve in the nursery and in the parking lot.
When the song leader stands or the guitar begins to play or the choir lifts their voice, they will join in the singing or at least in appreciation of the lyrics sung. They will likely stand too, the lights will likely go dim, and if they are attending a trendy church they may even get to see a light show that corresponds to the music. (Not exactly like a Pink Floyd concert but if you are a Baby Boomer you laugh inside thinking how much church feels like an arena rock show.)
An appeal for their offerings will be made and men will scurry down the aisles of the sanctuary in well planned maneuver of passing a plate across the pews in order to fund the church services, programs, and hopefully missions.
At the right moment in the morning’s program the minister will walk onto the stage and say something spiritual, maybe even biblical, and offer a prayer that perfectly transitions their attention away from music to a time of teaching.
They will be asked to be seated, they may have to endure a review of the same information printed in the cool tri-fold multi-color bulletin handed out by greeters when they entered, but they will watch, observe, and become onlookers as the minister presents his topic or even performs as a captivating orator.
They will soak in what the minister gives them. Their minister may be a pastor or a speaker, because they are very different. A pastor will encourage them using the Bible and from the Bible. A speaker will motivate them using his crafty verbiage and memorable one-liners, making reference to the Bible, but they may never see him actually holding or using a Bible because he must walk in front of the pulpit in order for his congregation to recognize his remarkable communication skills without dependence on the printed page.
When the minister has finished and a prayer is said or a final song is sung, they will be asked to come back that evening, or Wednesday evening, or next Sunday for the same experience next week.
When the audience has left the building the church staff will clean, and the minister will go home to collapse on his couch, exhausted. When Monday morning arrives, the stress of having to top yesterday’s church program will set in again until it crescendo’s into the pressure of preparing for the coming Sunday.
Meanwhile, at CrossHope Chapel, we will gather simply. We will meet in a fellowship that feels more like a family get-together than a corporate event.
We will enjoy time socializing over coffee and snacks and catching up with life since last week. We will update our prayer needs and give praise to our Lord for answering some and remain steadfast together in praying for requests still on our prayer board.
We sit at round tables so we can place our Bible’s and coffee before us. We don’t have pews, bulletins, offering plates to pass around, no official church membership to pursued you into, and we don’t lecture under the guise of preaching.
We will open in our Bible to Ephesians 2:4-10, because that is where we are in our book-by-book, chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse teaching series. We will question as we teach, we will share comments and thoughts in real time during the teaching, and in our interaction style we will all have opportunity to participate.
We will simply teach the Bible simply.
We’ve learned that CrossHope Chapel isn’t for everyone, but everyone is welcome and received as family. We are a smaller group and we just don’t have a back pew in a big building that you can slip into to remain unnoticed. (The best way to determine if we’re right for you and what you need in a church, is to visit our website at www.crosshopechapel.org, then come visit us on Sunday.)
We are more of a discipleship style gathering, reflecting the model of Acts 2:42, “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
We don’t have a variety of ministries and age-related activities, because God has not called us to be everything to everyone. We are here for people who simply want a Bible centered relaxed Sunday morning fellowship that isn’t all about flashy production, fluffy social causes, or entertainment value. We simply offer an opportunity “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
Tomorrow morning when you awake, we would love to see you at CrossHope Chapel, but we truly hope you will choose to attend a church somewhere. Go somewhere where the Bible is taught, where the Bible is open, and where the Bible is honored by their ministers and that will be a place where you can grow in Christ and breakthrough the mundane church life.