For all of the readers who have been faithfully reading my blog for the past few months (thanks Mom), you know that my family and I have recently moved to Summerville, SC. We have been praying and searching for a church to call home. I have been chronicling our search as part of the Sunday Setlist Blog Carnival Extravaganza going on over at FredMckinnon.com. Check out the other worship service re-caps from this week by clicking here.
A few weeks back, I and my son Zachary visited Seacoast Church, here in Summerville (see Sunday Setlist #26). I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t quite what we were looking for. Mostly because instead of a live pastor, we were watching a video of the previous week’s sermon from Mt. Pleasant (one I had already heard via pod cast). This weekend we decided to cut out the “middle man” so to speak, and visit Seacoast’s main campus in Mt. Pleasant (about a 25 minute drive from us). We also shook things up a bit by going to their Saturday night service.
As I said before, they do things a little different at Seacoast. They typically have their praise and worship at the end of the service and always accompanied with prayer and a kind of “self-serve” communion.
I loved it. The message from Pastor Greg was a continuation of a series entitled “I Have Some Questions….“. In this series, he has been answering questions sent to him via email, voice mail twitter, and text messages (sometimes actually real-time during the service) on a variety of topics ranging from creation to heaven & hell to sex. This week’s topics centered around church and finances. The best question (sent via email) was “What percentage of our hard earned tithes are used to pay Pastor Greg’s mortgage?” He actually answered this question (it worked out to about 0.003%) and went on to explain how his and other staff members’ salaries are determined. The message was very honest, informative, funny and challenging.
The praise and worship was also a little different that what I would consider the “norm” for most contemporary services. They started of with a very traditional version of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” that I really liked. I don’t normally like traditional hymns unless they have been re-arranged to a more modern style (usually with lots of guitar), but this was spot on for the moment; very simple, piano and female lead with a violin solo. Great setting for prayer and communion.
After that, the full band came on and they played “Always” by Martin Chalk, who is the Worship Pastor at Seacoast – Mt. Pleasant. About halfway through the song, I realized that this was the song I had heard at the Summerville service a few weeks before that I didn’t recognize. It is a great song that I believe is on his debut EP “After You”, which I plan to buy very soon. I couldn’t find it on iTunes, but it is available from his website. You should check it out.
They blew up the end of the worship time with Chris Tomlin’s “Let God Arise“. Great, great song. I left with the chorus still ringing in my ears.
All in all, I really enjoyed the service and the kids all said they wanted to come back again. The jury is still out on the whole Saturday night thing, but I think I kinda liked that aspect as well. Everything seemed to be a little more laid back than a typical Sunday morning service, but their Sunday AM services may be also. We will definitely be prayerfully considering Seacoast. Maybe we’ll attend one of their Sunday AM services next week……….