I visited The Lighthouse Church in Kingdom City, Missouri, which is my sister's church. So here is a little review of the church.
One of the things that impressed me was that the church is new and vibrant even though it is in a rural area. I have been a supply pastor in a couple of rural churches and they were maintenance churches, meaning the prospect for growth was little to none. I have thought of rural churches as lacking a future, this church proved that I had a misconception.
YOUNG AND OLD
I saw folks who were senior citizens but the church seemed young to me. People in their teens and twenties were participating, it was their church. At the same time, the church affirmed the gifts and callings of the senior citizens. One senior citizen sang special music. I think young and old alike affirmed the gift this blessed saint had even though it might not have been the style that the younger folk would have chosen had they been providing the special music.
The Lighthouse Church meets in a community center which has a dance floor. Sign at the entrance tell you that you can't purchase alcohol if your under 21. I would understand that to be a sign for the nights that a dance was held in the community center. Though it might sound sort of funny, I actually thought that and other symbols of other uses might make the church more connected with the community than if it was in a cute little building used exclusively for church. I have been a part of churches that met in schools and community centers. None felt particularly connected with the community like this one did.
MUSIC AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF WORSHIP
The words for contemporary praise songs were projected onto a screen. The music was contemporary genre and done well. Animation of a lighthouse was impressive but made the words just a little too small for comfortable reading on the screen from the back where I was. I would suggest continued use of the lighthouse animation but just a little less. The pastor used a video and Power Point during the sermon. I wondered a little if the sermon was driven a little by the media rather than the message. The video had prepackaged content that got repeated during the sermon. Perhaps others would feel the repetition of those messages during the video and sermon appropriate.
Instead of an offering being taken up, there is a four foot high, wooden lighthouse in the back of the church. People place their offerings there and visitors place their visitors cards there. I think the desired intent is so worshipers may give in secret instead of publicly but that rational was not explained to me. At other churches that I have gone to who have done similar things this was the rational explained then.
PREACHING OF THE WORD
Pastor Jason is an engaging man who gives an authentic and approachable demeanor about himself. His sermon was easy to follow and yet also had a measure of depth to it. What I walked away with from his sermon was that I worship by following the Beatitudes, that is I must display Jesus in how I react to difficulty and how I treat my coworkers. Others probably got something entirely different from the sermon.