A couple of weeks ago, a friend invited me and my daughter to join her and her daughter in attending a second birthday party. It wasn’t a party for a 2-year-old child but more of a second year anniversary celebration of the “Experience Church” in Detroit Lakes. I like to experiences different churches, so it sounded good to me. And a day of girl time was just what my daughter and I needed.
I asked my daughter if she would like to go, but she had volunteered at confirmation to be an acolyte for the early service at the church we attend. It was a special installation service for the new pastor.
I thought about the service schedule and drive time, and I told her we could attend both services.
After a beautiful celebratory traditional church service, we headed to Detroit Lakes and met our friends at the Historic Holmes Theater.
We were given a program rolled up in one of those popular rubbery bracelets with the web address www.exposedpeople.com printed on it. “Exposed people…that sounds kind of sketchy,” as my daughter would say. We were offered ear plugs and ushered into the dimly lit theater. Playing up on the stage was a very loud Christian heavy rock band with lighting and smoke effects. After a couple of songs, a bald, tattooed preacher gave a down-to-earth sermon on the topic of guilt from a series of “What’s holding you captive?” A clean KFC chicken bucket was passed for the offering collection, and more music from the band followed.
It was definitely an experience.
This church is part of Converge Worldwide, a movement that is planting churches to reach people who aren’t going to church. Experience Church exists to expose people to Jesus, wherever they are in their journey, and excite them to move one step closer in their relationship with him.
I think the people who don’t feel they fit into the traditional church would really like this one. The website states it is the perfect place for imperfect people. Isn’t that what all churches are? But at this service I felt they really meant it.
After the service, the four of us went for a quick lunch, then my friend and her daughter went on their way.
Hope and I had no additional plans for the day and wondered what we should do. I drove down by the lake, and we decided to walk the path near the beach. We walked and had a good talk.
On our way back we stopped at a self-serve frozen yogurt shop that was rather interesting. It was a pay-per-ounce dessert buffet with several flavors of soft-serve yogurt and every topping imaginable. A variety of sprinkles, cookie bits, fruit and candy, from crumbled chocolate candy bars to gummy bears were there to add to the top the frozen yogurt.
We took our small bowls of variety outside to enjoy on the deck, when a bee dropped in to taste Hope’s creation. She quickly flicked it, saying the treat was too good to be ruined by a bee.
After our walk and dessert, we went for a drive, heading for home in a roundabout way. I didn’t know where we were going exactly, but I wasn’t worried. I had a GPS in the car and we had our cell phones if we got totally lost or had car problems. I wanted to test my internal compass.
We headed south but ran into a detour that directed us further west. So I backtracked and took a road through, literally, the lake country, but that road came to a “T.” From the signs, going left sounded like it would take us too far north, so I chose to go right. Yes, right back to the road with the detour. The signs then directed me east onto a scenic byway until I found myself in familiar territory.
The drive was absolutely gorgeous. The fall colors around the lakes were breathtaking. This trip was amazing. We had no plan, no expectations; just my daughter and I on an adventure. It was wonderful.
When we got home, Hope asked if she could go with her friends to an event held at their church. Sure, why not? Go, experience church. Find the place and feel the presence.