18th September, 2005
On Barlow Moor Road, heading West out of East Didsbury.
Type of Service:
9:30 service (there's an 11:30 too, which I guess gets more students)
People shaking my hand as I walked in. No-one went out of their way to speak to me.
Seemed like a converted house, with a couple of large rooms knocked together. Probably around 200 people, with the mean age probably in the 20s - lots of kids.
Band at the front. Very good indeed and well led. The "worship leader" worked through Psalm 24, and it was thoroughly excellent. Songs were mostly very modern settings of Bible passages. I didn't know many of them, but that didn't matter too much as they tended to be repeated. Words on screen via PowerPoint. There was a slot in the music talking about confession and realising our weaknesses before God with an opportunity to go forwards and wash hands - seemed to work very well.
Basically paraphrasing the first chapter of "Everyone's Normal Until You Get to Know Them" by John Ortberg. Disappointing, since the rest of the service would have build up brilliantly to a good expository sermon, whether on Ps 24 or not. It was the first in a series working through the book too. Still reasonably challenging, but it's better to have the Word of God than the word of John Ortberg, and I'd guess Ortberg would agree!
Seems to be a lot of variety within the leadership team. The prayers, for example, were focusing entirely on wanting to get outsiders into the church so they could know how wonderful fellowship was, which seemed much more "cuddly/woolly", and the sermon not being expository generally seemed to fit with that. On the other hand, the singing, etc was what I'd have expected of a good and strongly evangelical church with charismatic leanings.