This past weekend I had an amazing time away from my home church. I was invited by my friend Mike Mahoney to drive down to CT and lead worship at his church. I was also asked to play with him at a small community church plant/coffee house that his church works with.
The time at the coffee house was a blast! The area of Bridgeport, CT reminded me a great deal of where I grew up in Long Island, NY. It is a very run down area with a wonderful mix of high end homes and Mercedes drivers along side complete poverty and crack houses. As a matter of fact Mike’s Church, Gospel Light, has a crack house across the street.
It was exciting to see his church ministering to the least the lost and the lonely, more concerned with changed lives than the amount in the offering basket.
Our set for the day was:
Happy Day – A
Praise set –
All Because of Jesus – A
Glory to God Forever (Beeching tag) – A
Greatly to be Praised – A
Majesty – A
Christ is Risen – E
The morning started at 7am with buying D&D coffee and then getting our gear set up at the church. According to my Friend Mike Kim it was gear overkill, but I personally don’t think there is such a thing. I played my gretsch through my line 6 M13 and visual sound volume pedal into a Vox ac15. Mahoney played my Parker nitefly through a podxtlive into the house.
At around 7:30 his band trickled in and we practiced till about 9. Mike has a great team all with great hearts and a few with sarcasm that equalled mine. It was so much fun playing with these guys and girls.
At 9am we went to the diner across the street and had a great breakfast. Church started at 10:30 and ended at 1:30. I have been told that sometimes they even go till 2:15. Yes it was and is long, but the length is not only cultural, but Spiritual. I can’t speak for every week, but this week no body wanted to leave. Worship was amazing and the congregation was engaging. It was one of those times where the room was just filled with worship and the Spirit. Following announcements and a few mini sermons from congregants Mike Mahoney (pastor Mike) gave a great sermon speaking on healing within the family. I don’t remember the exact time, but he spoke for an hour or so and not one person was squirming in their seat from boredom. They did however out of conviction.
During “Majesty” in the praise set I was suppose to give the pastor the “wink” confirming it was time to come up and start the announcements. He had his hands raised and eyes closed an so did the rest of the room. It was thick in there. So we kept going and went into “let it Rain” and then “everlasting god” ending finally with a reprise of Mike Kim’s “greatly to be praised”. Worship was so good that morning. After the sermon Mike asked everybody to come up for prayer and healing and then asked families to gather around each other and pray. I had my ipad there loaded with music so we did “nothing without you” and “healer” during the altar call. It was great to see that many people stay so long and on their knees crying out to God for their families.
Pastor Pedro asked me to “review” the church. Can I nitpick details as a church planting guy? Of course, but let me say they have something many churches don’t. They have people on fire for God, itching to get to church and ready to kneel at the altar and pour out their hearts in worship.
In the end it was a great time leading, hanging out, meeting great new friends, having a surprise visit for dinner with mike kim, and reconnecting with friends.
I can’t wait to get back there to do it again and I hope that God gives more opportunities to lead at other churches because it gave me new eyes for things and freshened my perspective.
If your church is in driving distance call me up (facebook etc) because I would love to come and guest lead. This was a perfect trip to get my brain pumping again.