Church Surch, Week 12 Lakeside Church, Park Rapids, MN
Lakeside Church is just like my home church, Canyon Ridge Christian Church. It isn't beside a lake, just like my church isn't beside a canyon. Or a ridge. They both probably had very tired marketing teams that just gave up.
This church is a bit different from others, as we spent the previous night at the pastor's house, Dick and Collette Jorgenson. When they feed you and put you up in a house with a real live bed, your critique could become skewed. I'll try to remain unbiased.
When asked by Dick what I look for in a church, I indicated how important I felt friendly people were to a church's success. He told me they would be fine. He knows his church. The place rocked with people talking to one another, like a crazy party or something. And many spoke to us, and not after having been cued to 'speak to the blogger, for heaven's sake.'
The service started late, which drives me crazy, but seems to be a Midwest thing. Dick struggled to get the crowd quieted down and focused-a good problem. Worship consisted of old songs and I wish they sang contemporary. The congregation looks to be mostly older. Let me clarify here. They have two types of members, the faithful that attend every week snow or shine, and the snowbirds that bail when the going gets tough. Smart birds. There are younger people, but my concern is this church, and all churches, are going gray. We need to reach the twenties to thirties people.
Dick spoke about relationships. If you needed to get a thousand dollars right away for some emergency, who is your 'go to' person? We're not in this alone, and need one another. They played a humorous video about how we need one another for teeter totter, sack races, water skiing (hilarious!) and Marco Polo. ("Marco? Hellloo?") Great visual demonstration.
At the end of the service, he invited anyone up for salvation, prayer, anything. No takers. What, no one in the church has needs?
LC celebrates four years of age, probably the youngest church we've attended, and afterwards I asked Dick what the biggest challenge the church faced. He said, "The building program."
What? How wonderful is that? Getting money together to buy land (done), grade the lot (done), build a simple building (next step) and spiffing it up with upgrades, parking, etc. (future). Their goal is to build without debt, a noble cause.
Speaking of growth struggles, the kids' ministry is in the Fish House. It's a real fish house. They use it for ice fishing in the winter. Amazing.
Altogether a really wonderful church, and I gave them an A+ on being friendly.
Afterwards we (rather I, QG rode in the Rowe's car) rode to the Rowe's house, who we know from our church, an hour or so away, on another lake, where there were plenty of boats and jet skis. Somehow, tomorrow, we'll jump on the Gold Wing and leave, in ninety-seven degree weather.
But what a great couple of days with friends, old and new.