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50 States Church Surch Week 28

  50 States Church Surch Week 28
Crossroad Christian Church, Dover, Delaware
Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.
Matthew 12:33

I visited the Crossroad website and as I perused it, I smiled. Oh yeah, this church will be a good fit.

The pastor rides a Gold Wing.

And a first, as I rode in, the parking attendants directed me to...covered motorcycle parking! Nonetheless, I felt nervous approaching the church, because just like the website, every person I saw this morning was black. One thing I wanted to do on this Adventure was visit a black church. But I figured it would be in Louisiana. Well, here we go.
Even though I was early, a guy led the congregation in prayer. And they pray out loud, with shouts of affirmation and praise. The usher um...ushered me to a seat on the side, three rows from the front. This is a Pentecostal church, so the prayers, the worship, the people are lively. Some folks knock on heaven's gates, and others bang on them, sing and yell. I like to sing and yell.

The worship was loud, raucous and I'm sorry to say stereotypical, but we sang,
"We say thank you
oh... oh...
It shoulda been me
It coulda been me..."
around five times and you think, "Maybe this is enough." Then we sang it another dozen times and you think, "Okay, that's about enough." And then after twenty times or so you think, "That was just about right." Ushers wander the aisles with fans that looked like mouse pads with handles, and tissues.

So there's a thousand people inside this metal building, and I'm one of a handful wearing jeans. And white. But people were friendly at greeting time, dishing out hugs where most other churches offer a weak handshake.

Pastor Wallace (not Margo, but Anthony) came up next and directed the offering, with a ten minute lesson on tithing. I believe in tithing, but I hope this doesn't happen every week or it becomes nagging. Another first, the offering worked like many communion services, where the ushers direct each row to go forward and drop their envelope in the bucket. Seems like a lot of peer pressure. Imagine sitting that one out.

Yet the church, youth building, school and another building are all paid off, Cornerstone proudly declaring they owe no man. The service ran long, so Pastor Wallace said he wouldn't preach today, then preached for fifteen minutes about "You receive what you speak," and "If your heart is all righty, your speech is almighty," based on Matthew 12.

No one spoke to me as I left, except Earl the parking attendant, who asked about the Hurricane Sandy quote on the bike. He's been there two years and loves the church. As I fired the scooter, Nate stopped to talk. His life changed dramatically thirteen years ago as he was a crack dealer that God reached and changed his life. Awesome. I told him I felt pretty white in that church and he looked at me like I was from the moon. So who's focused on color?

Now here are some things I don't like about the church. On their confession of faith, it reads, "Every member of this church is healed, healthy, blessed and prosperous, and we are reaching the world with the gospel through our prayers and support."

"We shall succeed in everything in Christ, the doors of failure have been closed and we shall not know defeat!" Based on personal experience, this puts tremendous pressure on the faithful. A guy is having money problems and can't make his car payment. A couple gets in a fight and feels like they are bad. They don't share their struggle with anybody, because they think everyone else is leading an abundant life. Even if someone gets a cold, they struggle with their faith. Did they sin and cause this? 'Why can't I whip this?' Because while I believe in miracles-I do-many times wonderful people of faith get sick and die.

Pastor Wallace spoke about the hurricane and how faithful God was to their church, as no one was injured or killed. Again, many good Christian people suffered and died from the ravages of Sandy. The message seemed egocentric.

People dressed well, looked good, and smiled. Yet some will go to work on Monday and struggle. And they have nowhere to go. That's my perception anyway. But a great place to sing and shout and worship.
And love and be loved.


Mel Nason said...

Reading this Church Surch made me really proud of my pastor. He showed a short video from a group called 'Convoy of Hope', which already had tons (literally, semi-truck loads) of food, water and other supplies in the area BEFORE the storm hit and was able to provide help almost immediately. Our pastor encouraged people to give generously so we could help those in need. I encourage you to seriously consider Convoy of Hope if you want to help Sandy's victims.

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Can you get a link of the video? Might be good to post it.