Boca Raton Community Church
Location and environment of the church
The Boca Raton Community Church is located in United States on 470 NW 4th Avenue. The principle of the church is to create an environment where all Christians can worship Christ, where they can grow in His understanding and where the worshipers care for one another and for the welfare of the people in the community. The church was recently in the international spotlight when it was partly destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The storm damaged and blew off two spires from the church rooftop. Apart from the spires, the contractor also discovered structural damage to the building that had been erected in the early 1990’s.
The Boca Raton Community Church is a modern religious center that has embraced contemporary methods of promoting Christianity through improving the channels of communication with their congregation and other Christians in the world. The church has managed this through a strong information campaign that makes use of the Internet and print media. The church website was easily accessible and all of the proceedings, events, officials and activities that the church was involved with were posted on the website. For instance, the website had information on the different ministries and contact that would guide any visitor.
The church had invested in flyers that were accessible around the church compound from the gate to the notice board. More information centers were inside the structure. These flyers contained a lot of information on the schedule for the Sunday service, the seating arrangement and the preachers for the day. More important, the flyers directed visitors to their respective relevant categories. When I got to the gates, I was received by a warm, kind woman who issued me a copy of the day’s program and shook my hand warmly. As I walked up the marble aisle leading up to the church building, I skimmed through the flyer and saw an interesting young adult’s class. Before I could find my way to the class, another usher welcomed me into the main church and duly informed me that all worshippers congregated here first before they dispersed into other ministries.
The brochure contained several parts that served to make the first experience to Boca Raton Community Church a memorable one. I started with the “ What to expect “ section of the pamphlet that promised me an appealing service that included inspiring worship, a testing message from the Bible and friendly staff and ushers. The rest of the section had minor questions that first-timers might have when considering whether to attend Boca Raton Community Church. The questions revolved around the dress code, allocations for children and disabled people and the duration of the church services.
My first opinion of the interior of the church was that the interior designer had done an excellent job. The inside of the church was similar to a movie cinema theater. The entranced was placed on a higher ground and the more I entered the church, the more the floor sloped such that even the people at the back had a view of the proceedings when the pastor conducted his sermon. There was no defined arrangement for the congregation as I noticed that men, women and children were mixed up. I found a seat close to the dais that was slightly elevated so that every church member could see what was happening. Soon the service began with a hymn from the hymn books provided behind each chair.
After the hymn, we all sat down and the church choir was invited to perform several songs. The choir was clad in graceful white and maroon gowns that made them look the part. The choir started out with a jovial soil “What a friend we have in Jesus” which was perfectly presented (Bagg 69). After two more songs, the choir retreated to their benches and the minister responsible for announcements came forward to make the announcements. By this time, I was almost getting anxious on whether the service would begin at all, as I saw very people my age in the main church. Finally, the announcements ended and the main pastor, Reverend Paul Hodgson took up his place at the pulpit to start the service.
Reverend Paul Hodgson started by welcoming all visitors to the Boca Raton Community Church and requested that they should all stand and greet the church. I was partially nervous as I stood, as I had not expected such a level of attention on me on the first day. As I rose, a lovely usher handed me an envelope where I was supposed to fill in my name and other details. Soon, it was my turn to introduce myself. I promptly blurted my full names and then took my seat quickly. Honestly, after the brief humiliation, I did not hear much of the 20-minute service that Rev. Hodgson gave but I got wind that it must have been talking about forgiveness and forgetting sins. Presently, he announced that it was time for the young adults to progress on to their special classes. I was so relieved when the announcement was made. As I left the main building, out of the corner of my eye I saw a few other young adults also stand to leave the main service.
Outside the church, I met a group of other youth that were being directed to the class that I was to be in so naturally I followed them. The young adults’ class was situated in a building that had the same architecture as that of the main church building. I suspected that they were part of the same building but I was too distracted with keeping up with the group ahead of me to inspect it further. At the door, we were met with yet another usher who gave us pamphlets that had information on the youth service (Bagg 19). The experience with the church service was so far average but the personal attention that the usher gave was top class that I felt at ease all the time.
The pastor in charge of the young adults was a stoic man about the age of 30 who wore a permanent smile and introduced himself to us as Reverend Samuel. Immediately, I developed a liking for his temperament and easy manner. There were a few differences from the normal church service that I had just attended. This youth service had a different arrangement in that everyone sat in a circle and discussed while facing other people. I felt nervous having to sit within the circle but it felt good to be accepted into the group and I soon became less anxious. I had to repeat the introduction process all over aging but this time it was less embarrassing as most of the youth cheered when they saw a visitor joining their circles and being one of them.
The youth service had started by reading from the book of Psalms and as we settled down, the reader continued his chapter. The youth service seemed very comfortable to me and I felt at home. After the reading, Rev. Samuel took over an introduced the sermon of the day-choices. He started off by asking us what kind of choices we had made that morning. When it came to my turn, I said that I had made the choice of going to church and staying for the whole service. Rev. Samuel wrote all our choices on the soft board as we mentioned them and then started the services with a short prayer.
Rev. Samuel preached about the importance of making informed decisions among the youth. He stressed that decisions should be made after proper deliberation and thought. Even though this was the right way to go about making choices, most youth still make their decisions based on other temporary and insignificant factors such as peer pressure, economic situation and ignorance. Rev. Samuel then gave us his personal experience when he was in college and almost missed his exams because he chose to go camping with his friend the day before instead of studying for his papers. As he continued talking, I felt convicted and chose to change how I made my decision from that day onwards. The reverend continued by illustrating people in the Bible who made irrational choices that resulted in grave consequences for example Moses who did not get to see the Promised Land.
After the youth service was over, we were politely requested to head back to the main service for the closing prayers. At the main church, before the last prayer was made, the church staff was introduced to the rest of the church. I remember the staff was made up of Bill Mitchell, the senior pastor, Reverend Samuel, the youth pastor and Reverend Paul Hodgson, the associate Pastor. In my opinion, the team was very competent to coordinate the affairs of the church based on the current state of the services and the high level of organization (Boca Raton Community Church 28). After the introduction, Reverend Samuel finished the Sunday service with a short prayer and the service was complete.
However, the youth affairs were not complete as I was waylaid on my way out of the main building by three young adults and whisked off to a meeting that was being held in the soccer pitch. The youth coordinator, Mr. Jenkins introduced me to the Avenue program. This was a regular event that brought together all the youth from the area for three hours of fun, fellowship and food. I was excited to find something interesting and constructive to do that was surprisingly near our neighborhood so I enrolled to join the program. After chatting a little bit with the other youth members, I had to go back home. In conclusion, the church service and the experience was very uplifting, encouraging and had made for interesting material to report at school (Bagg 13).
The visit to Boca Raton Community Church was generally a good trip. The ushers offered first-class service that tended to almost all the needs that a first-time guest might require. The establishment was also organized, spacious and designed in a way that allowed all members of the congregation to follow the service easily. On the downside, there were many activities taking place in the church simultaneously that it was very difficult to settle down and listen to the Word of God without frequent distractions. The ministers were also spiritual but they stressed so much on condemning political activity and homosexuality as compared to preaching the gospel.
Bagg M. Hurricane Sandy damage in Boca Raton: Boca Raton Community Church. News Channel. Accessed on 6 December 2012. Retrieved from http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/region_s_palm_beach_county/boca_raton/hurricane-sandy-damage-in-boca-raton-boca-raton-community-church
Boca Raton Community Church. Boca Raton Community Church Accessed on 6 December 2012. Retrieved from http://www.bocacommunity.org/