Monday, April 27, 2009

Revolution Church Tucson, AZ - A Review

I have never reviewed a church as far as putting up a formal review, but I guess every time we go to church we give it a review of some kind. This review however I felt I should tell others about.

Being a pastor myself and going to a church where I am not a pastor on staff can be a difficult thing, it can be hard to focus, and not critique, yet this past Saturday in my visit to Revolution Church I felt myself fully immersed in my surroundings. This was my third visit to Revolution since thier launch as a church in September of last year. The church itself holds its main service on Saturday nights at 5 PM on Pantano Rd. There is good signage out front to let you know you are there, although I did not notice any signs along the way at the intersections to point the way. The kid’s area was easy to find, and the people were very friendly. It was also clean, and they had a safety check in system, maybe could have been manned a little bit better, but still good, all huge things as a parent. As I looked into my daughter’s class room I got a huge pleasant surprise, there was dude, with two girls, all volunteer teachers. This guy was not just a guy, but he looked to be a man’s man, I believe this to be a huge void in most churches, men working with children and was very happy to see that influence in the room. Jesus was most defiantly a man’s man, yet He spent time with the children, all churches could pick up a lesson here from Revolution, oh and Jesus, have a dude in there with the ladies teaching the kids. I came into the service with about a minute or two to go before service started. A greeter met me and handed me a program. As kind of a side note they had some coffee and juice and stuff to the side that I did not see coming in and since I was thirsty, it would have been nice to know it was there. Thought the greeter could have engaged more, maybe even a second level greeter, someone past handing me the program. Although the crowd was small at first, the excitement coming from the band on stage was oozing from the stage. They were ready to rock it out, to lead people to meet Jesus through song. At 5 sharp things got going, and did they ever get going. I can say from personal experience, you do not want to be late, you will miss out. For a church of 100 people or so, counting kids area, the band was AMAZING!!! They did not miss a beat, and have put together some very talented pieces, clearly anchored by the lead man and the drums. They did not just lead and sing though; you could sense they were worshipping themselves. The audience was also beginning to engage in the worship, something they have been clearly growing into. When the message portion of the service started it began with a video which was good, and then the pastor, Josh, slipped up to the front. Josh delivers his message sitting from a stool, and usually talks about 45-50 minutes. He is a truly gifted speaker as I looked around people were fully engaged the whole time. No one was sleeping, talking, etc. The service ended with Josh giving a clearly laid out challenge, the band leading in a few more songs, and people who wanted to could go to take communion over towards the side.

A few side notes: there is a nice bag for first time visitors, giving is done through a giving box in the back. There is a greeting time to connect, but it is not over done where if you are new you feel really uncomfortable. Dress is comes as you are, very casual, and there is a good diversity of people.

Over all I would give the service experience at Revolution Church an A-, B+, they had a few things I would tweak, but they are new, and it is clear they are tweaking. The service was very engaging and I would recommend the church to anyone looking to plug in with a church, especially those who might not feel like they fit in the “normal” church atmosphere.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why I Ran "The Race for the Cure"

This morning was a very different Sunday for me. As a pastor most people expect me to be one place week in, week out, and that’s in church on Sunday morning. Now there is nothing wrong with this as I love being in church to worship, lead, and teach. This morning though I worshiped, led, and taught in a very different way. This morning I participated in The Race for a Cure, which for those who don’t know is fundraiser for breast cancer research. This is by far the biggest fundraiser in the city of Tucson, something that our city clearly cares about. Last year I got to thinking, if our city cares about this so much, maybe I should care about. In fact the more I thought about it, the more I was sure it was something that Jesus would and does care about. Jesus often met people where they were at, and then said come and see what I am all about. That was what this morning was about for me. I made a shirt that said, “Central Baptist Is…” “…Racing for the Cure.” And then put “John 3:16” underneath. Now to be honest I don’t know if a single person from that race will visit Central, but I know they read the shirt, I saw a lot of them. So what was the point…the point is that I worshiped God by showing people I love and care about them just as He does. That this pastor would be willing to skip church, and that it is not a sacred cow put above everyone else. I believe I led the people of Central by showing them that meeting on Sunday is not the only way to worship, and I believe I taught them that service and love sometimes is way outside of our box of what we think is normal. Five years ago, today would not have been an option for me, but God has been and is stretching me. Today I worshiped God, taught, and led, and I didn’t do any of it at church.