Well, I had an interesting experience today- I went to a Pentecostal service in another city. Visited a couple other things on the way, so part of the day went well...
Wow. I had thought since every church is different, I should give another Pentecostal church a chance, at least. Haha. They were actually quite friendly, telling me that they hoped to see me again and then when I hedged, telling me they'd see me their next service, asking where I was from, and announcing where I was from when I specifically said not to! But they were trying to be nice, and as far as I can tell the pastor and his people are kind. Actually after service there was some work to be done, and the pastor asked if some men could help him with it. He walked off the platform started working, himself, right alongside everyone else! That was the first time I saw that in years.
The service was typical Pentecostal. Very good music. Milder worship than I'm used to, thankfully, just some clapping and singing-no squeals, spinning, dancing, running, leaping or spells. Sunday School was OK, but the lesson didn't use many scriptures and was kind of disjointed. The message was a bunch of catch phrases thrown together. I sat there listening, and although it would have been considered a "deep" lesson, and "anointed" preaching, I felt sorry for them. Some study had gone into both, but I realized that it's no wonder I can't remember what's preached in a Pentecostal service-there's too many bits and pieces splattered all over the place to really pin it down. I wonder sometimes if the preacher remembers the message after he's preached it, it's so fractured!
No one tried to pray me through, no one pushed worship or tried to up the excitement level. Those things were good. And I enjoy hearing the songs I'm familiar with. But it amazed me how different my perspective on what constitutes a "good" message is now, and how disjointed the messages really are in Pentecostal services I've experienced.
So the search continues...
I went to a denominal church this earlier this morning that was more liturgical. They sang "Lord prepare me (to be a sanctuary)". I always liked that song. They sang all four lines and stopped dead! And did it again on Kum ba Yah. (Yes, they really did sing it.
I couldn't believe it either!) Once through, and done. After being in a church where a normal chorus must be sung 20 times to start to feel the spirit, it was a shock!
Anyway, so it was a very interesting day.