Sunday, July 30, 2006

Church #12: Eastside Christian Church

1. Who attended? Bradley & Erica.

How was the experience?
1: I was so uncomfortable and/or offended that I did not stay to the end of services.
10: This church was welcoming and thought-provoking. I would recommend that others experience this church.

BRAD: 7, for the great connection between Church, and modern day culture.

3. Picture(s) of the church

4. Name/location of the church:
Eastside Christian Church
5874 Monclair Boulevard
Milford, OH 45150

5. Was it recommended to Church Hop?
Bradley and I had planned on going there eventually, but when Gail suggested it (read in the comments an entry or two back), we decided to make it a priority. (Thank you Gail.)

6. Time/duration of services:

7. What type of religion did the church cater to?

8. Who did you meet?

9. If applicable, scans of handouts, tracts, etc

10. Church Hopper’s personal experience with the church, additional details:

ERICA: I really liked this church and I was very comfortable there. I was particularly interested to see the place because I had been there, as a very little girl, when it was still a movie theater.

As far as tone and energy go, it reminded me a lot of Crossroads. Same kind of message, same kind of intended audience, great A/V, etc. The church was bright and comfortable, and since Bradley and I prefer the earlier services (there was an 11am, also), we avoided much of the teen scene. There was a coffee service and a friendly information desk. Very inviting and contemporary.

The message was great, too-- we caught them at the end of a series about the tools to get closer to God (grow, serve, care, manage, worship, reach), and the pastor was talking about the little ways to put all this learning into use in your life. One particular thing that was meaningful to me was when he mentioned that people get close to God in different fashions, and that you shouldn't judge them or even other churches for that (for instance, Catholics are more tradition-based than Eastside is, but that's not wrong, just different).

There was a little something missing for me but I can't put my finger on what it was. It was so similar to Crossroads, but Crossroads left me feeling a little more... moved to action. I wish I knew exactly what I was missing, because this isn't a very helpful review. The music was awesome and uplifting (if a little loud), the communion was not uncomfortable for us (as we did not partake), and the pastor was comfortable in his skin and seemed to believe what he was saying.

If I had to guess, it was that the rest of the congregation didn't really seem affected by the church. At Crossroads, everyone seemed to be really happy to be there, talking amongst themselves and reacting to the sermon. But even when the pastor at Eastside asked everyone to join in to a song "with all they had," no one seemed to be really feeling it. That might not really be a fixable problem but it was the one thing holding me back a little. Otherwise, this was a really fun church to attend.

Brad: I'm always talking about how Erica and I love an older church. But sometimes, it feels good to be lost in sea of people. For the amount of people this church had at it's side, it really did a great job of sending a message.

I was dissapointed to learn they mootched off of the "movie theater" style, with film strip boarders everywhere, but overall, I could see they really turned the place around, and made it into a church of the 21st century. I was blown away to learn they had a cafe in the lobby, and people seemed to be gathered around the place, talking in the little cliques, and groups of family members.

We all headed in, and the "house-band" was very good. It was a really neat setup. The colores of the stage were very modern, and the way the band played; you could tell they knew how to reach people that of a more modern age. There few songs were followed by a pastor who was just as good. He talked about the events that followed up, before the crucifiction of Jesus, and what we can take away from the Bible along with that. Communion and tithing were drowned out in song, but after that, it seemed like the whole service was over to quickley. Overall, this church was great!