The weekend prior to going to LA, we took a trip up to Granger Community Church outside of South Bend, Indiana to check out their weekend worship experience. I had attended their Innovate Conference in September and was blown away by their willingness to come alongside all us and share the good and the bad of their ministry. I decided that I wanted to experience the weekend and evaluate the normal weekly procedures. Any church can put their best out there for a 2 day conference, but can they deliver the goods week to week? Granger can and does week to week.
From the moment we walked in the door, we saw a smiling face greeting us. It wasn’t an overeager warm-body, but a well trained individual who somehow could tell we had never been there before. They saw our two young children (oh, yeah I was bringing the heat. We kicked the tires of the whole environment.) and motioned us to the new family check-in area. The volunteers there were very friendly. The only complaint I can find, was that the new family check-in was very busy and there was only one person checking in and one personally taking folks to the appropriate areas. The fact that they had a person who was responsible for showing people around the building says a lot about Granger. My children literally had the best time of their week at Granger. They are still talking about the lessons and singing songs they learned.
The worship service was fantastic. The worship leading truly was about leading people to God, not about ego or show. The level of creativity was unbelievable. I have never been so engaged in a parenting message. The “Creature From Another Planet” series message we heard really impacted my relationship with my kids. The materials in the program we well designed and thought out. The message notes were something you could take home and really put to use, not just something you clean out of your Bible three months later.
Our visit to Granger ended with a infusion of caffeine from the cafe. It was an experience that taught me a lot about how to treat guests and lead people to their “next steps.” This week, we received a mailing from them about their Christmas series. I will be watching online! Granger is one of my favorite churches in America.