Today’s guest post is by Brandon Yopp, Student Pastor at Mt Vernon Church. You can find him on Twitter here:
While I was out of town visiting family, I decided to visit a local “contemporary” church that I had heard a lot about, but had never attended. Bethany and I went to church and left the kids at home with their grandmother, unsure of the quality of childcare and just excited to be a part of a worship service where I had no responsibilities!
We arrived just a few minutes before the service started and began the dreaded “first time guest” walk up to the church. It’s that awkward moment when you feel like the new kid at the school cafeteria, desperately trying to find a safe place to sit before nauseous shame overwhelms you. The building and the modern styling of the church impressed me. They had a couple of men who opened the doors and welcomed us in. I immediately noticed a huge, beautiful coffee area with a plethora of options. Being a member of Mt Vernon, I felt I had a duty to test every kind of coffee they had! However, it was time for the service to start and no one offered to show me the coffee area. So, we headed to the worship center.
Being a student pastor I plan and execute the student worship services every week. I cannot help but take notes to critique other services in order to help gain new ideas about what to do and what to avoid. As Bethany and I left, we began to discuss the service.
For the first time, in a long time, I was in the shoes of a first time guest. I had no idea how great Mt Vernon is and how blessed I am to serve with such a wonderful church! I begin to critique Mt Vernon from the perspective that I had just gained as a first time guest. I have grown accustomed to being greeted as soon as I enter the parking lot and never having to open a door. I feel safe and confident leaving my children in Discovery Zone because I know they will be loved and cared for.
I know that I have taken for granted the professionalism and poise with which Josh and Jordan lead the service. If you notice there is almost no dead time and certainly no awkward silence. The service flows, and there is never a time where a guest feels isolated. Josh preaches biblically and includes a lot of life application. I am not insinuating that Mt Vernon has arrived or is the only church that has it right. I am saying that I am so glad that I get to serve at Mt Vernon and with such great people!