A new perspective is always helpful. That’s why I find it interesting and inspiring to visit other churches to see what they’re doing (or not doing) with their services.
My wife and I visited Harvest Bible Church in Davenport, Iowa recently. I thought I would write up our thoughts about the service and what we liked, and just one area that I think they could improve in.
My father, pastor and author Mark Anderson always uses this method to help me learn to be a better speaker — he encourages me, and then gives me just one point to improve for next time. I have really appreciated his restraint as I’m sure he could give me a list, but he never does — he only gives me one item to improve on each time.
- Harvest Bible Church, Davenport, Iowa
- Large church
- Multiple services (we went to the 11am Sunday service)
What we liked
- They have an 11am service — yay! Maybe just because we were on vacation, but I love a late morning service.
- Their website was clear, inviting, and well-designed.
- They started on time with zero announcements — right at 11am, the band started playing the first worship song. Love it! (They had announcements running on the slideshow before the services started, and then spent about 3-4 minutes on announcements at the very end of the service.)
- The worship was excellent: heartfelt and very well done musically.
- Stage design was nice, if maybe a bit cliché.
- They had coffee available before the service, and you could take it into the auditorium.
- The sermon series was about a current justice-related topic — we were happy to see this and saw it as a very good sign that the church wanted to address current cultural questions.
One thing to improve
- Shorten the sermon!
The sermon was over 50 minutes long. Many of us humans are really not wired for long lecture-style teaching and that is just too long to try to keep us engaged. In my opinion, 30 minutes is a maximum length for a lecture-style sermon. In reality, I think a pastor has to be a phenomenal speaker to keep an average person learning for more than about 20 minutes.
As it’s been said, “Our minds can only comprehend as much as our seats can endure.”
My two cents. Thanks for having us, Harvest Bible Church!