As you know, we have spent 7 months “shopping” for a new church. It’s actually a long time to be “homeless”; in a way, we felt like Abraham, setting out from the familiar places into unknown territory.
Until 7 months ago, we had never really visited churches except for when we were overseas. Having now visited a number of churches in Perth, I am encouraged to see what God is doing amongst the congregations in this city. I have discovered that different churches have different strengths too and I wonder how much more each church would be blessed if they were able to learn from each other.
So here are some of the churches we visited during this transitional period and some of the characteristics we really loved:
- CCC Crawley (or C4). This church is positioned deep in the Western Suburbs in Dalkeith, where every fourth car parked around the church was a Porsche. When I visited this church, I found out that Phil Pringle was considered to be in the top 10 of Australian artists and to generate curiosity, they were going to make the front of the church into a Phil Pringle Art Gallery. What a clever way to outreach!
- First Light. We loved the warmth of fellowship, the intensity of the worship and the awesome grace-based preaching. In fact, of all the churches we visited, we lingered in First Light’s visitor’s lounge the longest.
- Victory Life. This is the church we would have settled in if we were 60 years old. The older generation here were so vibrant and full of life that they would put the young people to shame. And they have this crazy vision to build a massive prayer tower.
- SouthCity. I have some good mates here but again was drawn to this church by its warmth. The preaching was short and punchy, but impactful. After only a service lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes, we still came out feeling full.
- Sonlife. We enjoyed this church because of the great preaching and the passion of its people in worshipping God. The congregation easily drowns out the worship team. I also had the privilege of co-leading worship there one Sunday and it was so easy to lead which means someone has taught the congregation well how to worship.
- Faith Community Church. This is a church with a great vision for the community and the body of Christ as a whole. Of course, Pastor Benny Ho’s preaching is probably one of the best around (I’m not trying to suck up here, but that really is an honest assessment) and the worship is vibrant.
- Metrochurch. The service culture in this church is phenomenal. The Senior Pastor Geoff Woodward (also one of the best preachers around in my opinion), in the middle of his sermon, mentions that it would be nice to have a cup of coffee and before you know it, an offsider shows up at the side of the stage with… you guessed it … a cup of coffee. And even cooler is the fact that Geoff Woodward then spends 2 minutes on stage slowly savouring every drop of the coffee. Geoff’s jokes are great too including my favourite “dad joke” that goes like this: “I couldn’t believe it when my neighbour started knocking on my front door at 3 am in the morning! Good thing I was still up playing my bagpipes”.
- Riverview. This is Perth’s flagship seeker friendly church. The creative display is awe-inspiring. Whilst the worship was going on, a guy was painting what looked like a mountain scene at the side of the stage, only to turn it on its side to reveal the face of Jesus.
- Churchlands. This is a church which in my view resembles Bethel Church in spiritual orientation: supernaturally focussed with a hunger for God’s presence reflected during their worship time.
- JoyCity. I heard an amazingly fresh sermon from a young friend of mine, Nick Chan, entitled “The Church is Full of Hypocrites”. He got my attention! And he delivered. Brilliant worship as well from a worship leader I used to serve with and whom I deeply respect.
- Mighty Livingwaters. A church which has a strong prophetic gifting. We missed out on Pastor Rajan, but heard his mentor preach instead.
- Influencers. This church has a culture that thinks big and looks big. Even though (I think) they have about 100 people, they are set up with three plasma screens. They also have a thriving international student’s ministry.
So there are some highlights of some of the churches we visited. In a sense, it was a shame we couldn’t visit more, but our time of wandering had to come to an end.
Even though we are now committed to settle down in a church however we intend to take a week off every couple of months just to visit another church and to keep on the pulse of what God is doing in the city.