|137: Jesus Evagelical Covenant Church, Fengyuen, Taiwan|
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Mystery Worshipper: The Ingrown Toenail in the Body of Christ.
The church: Jesus Evagelical Covenant Church, Fengyuen, Taiwan.
Denomination: Evangelical Covenant.
The building: Old brick building nestled against little shops and stores in a downtown area. On the side of the building is a huge painting of Jesus!
The neighbourhood: High rise apartments, fallen from a recent earthquake.
The cast: Pastor Don Dwight is the regular, but the special speaker for the day was David Dolan.
What was the name of the service?
Filipino English Service.
How full was the building?
Approximately two-thirds full around 60 people.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
They plopped a name tag on me. All tags started with "Bro." for the guys and "Sis." for the ladies. People were quite friendly and shook my hand.
Was your pew comfortable?
Well, we stood for the entire singing part, which lasted a good 45 minutes. When we finally sat down, the pews were as hard as rocks. They were wooden and too close together. My legs barely fitted between my pew and the one in front of me.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Quite festive and noisy. The musicians were warming up and everyone had to talk over the noise. People were dressed very casually most were in blue jeans or shorts and tee shirts.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Are you ready to praise the Lord?"
What books did the congregation use during the service?
Everything we needed was right in the bulletin or on the overhead projector. Some used their Bibles as well.
What musical instruments were played?
Guitar, drums, and tambourine.
Did anything distract you?
During the prayers at praise time the leader must have said "Jesus", "Father", "God" and "Hallelujah" 200 times each. I wanted to go up there and slap her. Testimony time went on and on (and on) in Tagalog! That gave me an opportunity to plan through some things for the coming week, so I made it a profitable time. My wife wrote a letter.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Very happy. The people were dancing and clapping and having a good time. It felt as though we were at a wedding celebration.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
9. The sermon was half as long as one of the testimonies.
In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
We need to be fruitful Christians (the sermon was based on Romans 10:14-15). We are commanded to share the great news that we have about the compassion of Jesus. I felt like I could be a better example in my Christian life.
Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
The party-like atmosphere. Anyone off the street would want to be part of the excitement and celebration.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
The long testimonies and "Jesus, Jesus, praise you Father, God, Jesus, Father" stuff. It's what I call "cuss" praying!
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
People mostly asked what I am doing in Taiwan and how I like living here. Since there had recently been an earthquake, most of the conversation was about that. We were invited to come back.
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
No coffee, but as luck would have it, it was snack Sunday! We had all sorts of Filipino food.
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
8 get rid of testimony time and cuss praying and I could feel comfortable here.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The list of things to do I made during the testimony.