For me, being on vacation is always a good opportunity to visit other churches. Last Sunday, I was at my old church, GBC in Hutchinson, Kansas. This Sunday, I wanted to visit somewhere new. We have been staying in the south suburbs of Chicago all week, so I thought about visiting a Harvest Bible Chapel. I was hoping there would be one close to us and there was - Palos Hills, Illinois.
There are many reasons why I wanted to visit a Harvest church, but one main reason as to why this one: They meet in a school like we do Cornerstone Bible Church (and they were the closest). Since I have never been in a church situation without a building, I have never had to think through some of the things I do now. And since Harvest is planting churches around the country (and world), I figure they have certainly thought through just about everything.
My overall impression: They do things right! There were several aspects that led me to this conclusion.
First, was the signage. The over-communicate who they are and what they are about. Even before entering the campus, there were signs out by the road stating that a church was meeting there. There were signs by the front doors. When we needed to drop my daughter off at the Children's Ministry, there was a vary large sign stating where to go. Each ministry had a sign in the hallway that would lead you to their particular information.
Second, their service. It was raining when we arrived, and there were men in the parking lot with umbrellas to help us get into the building without getting wet. The ladies that signed in Anni into their children's ministry were very friendly and helpful. There were guys walking around the campus with shirts on stating they were security. The administrative assistant from the church caught us walking in and helped us find out way.
Third, their worship in music was excellent and Christ-honoring. It was not forced, but seemed natural. There was never the appearance of performance as I have noticed in other some places I have been. I really appreciated the transitions from song to song. As well, their use of technology for the songs was seamless and well done (and my son did notice they had 2 macbook pro's running their video).
Fourth, they used the Bible. Of course, this is the most important. It wouldn't be a church without the preaching of the Word of God. The preacher was in his series on the book of Acts. He preached for about 40-45 minutes and explained and applied the text for his people. He challenged them at the end to step up their efforts of evangelism.
Overall, there are several things that I learned and appreciated about this church. If you ever find yourself in or around Palos Hills, Illinois, I would highly recommend you visit Harvest Bible Chapel.