“What church do you go to and why?”

Hi there, I’m a pro golfer who is moving to Dallas next year. I am trying to find a good church and surround myself with good young Christian people. I have followed your Probe articles and I like your deep knowledge of the Bible and I would like to attend a similar church. Do you have any recommendations please? And can you tell me about your recommendations?

I was over last year and popped into Watermark Community Church because I’ve been listening to Todd Wagner and Jonathan Pokluda on podcast and absolutely love them. I don’t care about the denomination as long as they have good strict doctrine and have a lot of young people I can meet. Are there any other churches similar to Watermark? What church do you go to and why?

Thanks, Stephen.

 

Artist: Susan Rudat
Check out her cool art here: http://susanrudat.blogspot.com/

 

If you like the preaching at Watermark, and the size doesn’t intimidate you, you’ll probably want to investigate their life groups. It’s the only way to really get plugged in there. Three of our staff are members at Watermark, and what they love about it is what everyone I know at Watermark loves about it: the church’s emphasis on the freedom found in community and confession. Next time you visit Watermark, let me know, and I’ll hook you up with my colleague Paul.

The closest thing to Watermark will be The Village Church. I believe the original campus is located in Flower Mound (a half hour or so outside of Dallas), but they have a satellite campus (where local church-goers get a live feed of Chandler) in Dallas. Lots of young Christians love Matt Chandler’s pull-no-punches preaching style.

I attend Christ Church Plano (a northern suburb of Dallas). Christ Church is the best of both worlds for me because it’s Anglican and evangelical. I grew up in a Bible church which finds its home base in Dallas Theological Seminary. I loved being there as a teenager, and when I went to university, I was astounded at how little other students who grew up in church knew about the Bible and the way preachers would take Scripture out of context in some of the churches I visited. But while I came to appreciate the emphasis on exposition I grew up with, I was also introduced to “high church” liturgy during my university years. I fell in love.

Liturgy, for me, provides a richer, fuller worship experience. In non-liturgical services, I often feel like a disembodied soul. Sermons would engage and stimulate my mind (and sometimes heart) and music would touch my heart (and sometimes mind), but when they didn’t, the service would be… essentially a bust. That’s a lot of pressure on the teaching pastor and the worship minister. And that kind of environment is perfect for creating superstar pastors like Chuck Swindoll, Francis Chan, Tony Evans, and Matt Chandler. Not that those guys aren’t great preachers; they are, but for me I need something besides a great sermon. I need embodied habits to prepare my heart and mind for worship: kneeling in prayer each week, taking communion each week, crossing myself as a reminder that I belong to the cross… I’m a visual and hands-on learner anyway, so it’s really helpful for me.

I also appreciate that the Anglican tradition values the aesthetics: art and architecture and classical choral music, for example. The choir can bring me to tears singing a requiem in Latin though I don’t understand any of the words; art speaks to that part of us which is more moved by evocation than elucidation; and this too prepares my whole self to respond to God.

Christ Church is also evangelical. So personal faith—Bible study, discipleship, and so on—is valued as well. They make a point to emphasize the meaning behind the motions. And along with the choir, there’s a contemporary praise band too; so again, it’s often the best of both worlds (and admittedly, sometimes the worst of both worlds too.:)

[For more on why I like liturgy, check out my post over at Thinking through Christianity: “The Importance of Liturgy.”]

Hope that helps!
Renea

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