On the Road – Mount Vernon, Illinois – A Church that ROCKS!

Posted in On Tthe Road on April 15th, 2008 by MadDog
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I always loved that Monty Python interlocutor who came to switch the scenes with, “And now, for something completely different.” Well, this morning that works on a couple of different levels.

When’s the last time you had fun in church. For that matter, when was the last time you went to church? Never mind. You out there who know me appreciate that I don’t shove that in your face. You either dig the faith thing or you don’t. You also know that if you ever need me, I’ll be there. (Sounds like a sappy country music song title, eh?) I’m like the tiger lurking in the bush.

But, I gotta tell you, I had me some fun at church yesterday. Central Christian Church at Mount Vernon Illinois has been a highly significant contributor to our paychecks forever (well, since 1981, anyway). We went there yesterday to visit old friends and report to our bosses there about our work. (All went well.)

The best part for me, however, was the worship service itself. Does this look like any church that you’ve visited (or imagined, if you don’t go)?

Central Christian Church - Mount Vernon, Illinois

When the beat’s in the groove and the lyrics are whacking me in the guts, I just want to get up and dance like a wild man. Well, that might not be appreciated in this context, but my body was egging on – Go, man! Dig it! Eunie was clapping her cute little hands and singing bravely in her sweet monotone (poor baby is completely tone-deaf, but she belts it out anyway, God bless her).

I think that just about every professional-class musician in Mount Vernon must have been on that stage – there can’t be many in a town that size. This is no garage band. There was rock, ballad, a little funk . . . the guy at the microphone with the guitar did a very credible and street-wise rap segment that made me whoop! A trio of young women delivered a side-stage number that was every bit as edgy and gut grabbing as anything I’ve heard from Alanis Morrisette. It was great music – never mind the setting. It was all soulful stuff. And I don’t mean that in a churchy way.

When preachin’ time came round, Jamie Allen presented one of the most cogent and concise lectures on how to manage your money that I’ve ever heard. It was all solid advice. Americans seem to be having a lot of trouble these days coping with economic problems. Many desperately need to learn how to manage their money effectively. Hey, how about that? Not what you’d usually expect from the pulpit. Of course he did mention that you should give some it back . . . to the church, of course. It’s a given for believers. But, whether you are or you aren’t, if you heard some of the stuff this church is into, you’d be reaching for your wallet no matter. (Just a small sampling – shelters for abused women and children, Habitat for Humanity, safe water supplies for villages in India, health clinics and children’s homes in Brazil and Africa, to-your-door meals for shut-ins, soup kitchens . . . the list goes on and on.) These people know how to spread the love. It’s what they’re about.

This is a trend we’ve seen in churches we have visited. Kaimuki Christian Church in Honolulu is another terrific example. If you have nothing to do there on a Sunday morning, hop on over and get down.

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