|245: Open Bible Fellowship, Jenks, Oklahoma|
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Mystery Worshipper: The Dread Pirate Matt.
The church: Open Bible Fellowship, Jenks, Oklahoma.
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The building: It's a remade grocery store in a small shopping center in the middle of town, located next to a closed Wal-mart. The stage seems to sit where the dairy case used to be.
The neighbourhood: The church is right next door to the only supermarket in town, so on Sundays the parking lot is full of shoppers and worshippers.
The cast: Pastor Joel Budd.
What was the name of the service?
Sunday Morning Celebration Service.
How full was the building?
Packed. We had trouble finding a seat at the back. I would say there were about 1,500 people.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Many people walked up to me and shook my hand, and a few older ladies hugged me. I felt genuinely welcome.
Was your pew comfortable?
Folding chair, foam padded. It was comfortable enough.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
People were smiling and laughing, it was kind of like being at a family reunion. Strangers would walk up to me and just start talking about what God had done in their lives. At first I felt a little uncomforatble, but I got used to it.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"It's good to see you all in the house of the Lord this morning."
What books did the congregation use during the service?
Just the Bible, no particlar version.
What musical instruments were played?
Organ, piano, synth, guitar, drums, sax, tambourine, bass guitar and trumpet.
Did anything distract you?
There was a notable moment when one of the worshippers fell over. He laid there and no one made a move to help him up. It was explained that this just happens sometimes when the Lord touches him.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
It was mostly Vineyard praise and worship music.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
8 He just smiled the whole way through and seemed very confident.
In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
"Holiness" was the title of the sermon, and the jist of it was that we as Christians should be in the world and not of it. Pastor Joel made the point that we are a "royal priesthood" and we should give ourselves completely over to Jesus.
Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
I enjoyed pretty much every part of it. The praise and worship time was great. The sermon, I felt, was right on the money, and everyone seemed really friendly.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
Just the parking, I guess.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
Several people shook my hand and hugged me.
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
I didn't see any refreshments.
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
10 If I lived in the Tulsa area I would probably be there every time the doors were open.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Yes, very much so.
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The openness of the people, and the way they showed the love of Christ to a stranger.