Addition to the Blogroll – Geneva Redux

What is this with people obsessed with Geneva? What good has ever come from Geneva? Of course, at least Geneva has produced a bible translation – what did that other Switz town, um Zürich give us?

Anyway, I find this blog sometime ago, and I really enjoyed this post – thus, added to the blogroll. He gives us insight into what a service at Saddleback (That’s Rick Warren’s ego-feeder) is like.

Saturday, January 24, 2009, I attended the 6:30pm service at Saddleback Church.  Rick Warren was surprisingly in attendance after his busy week of inaugural festivities.  I will give a chronological rundown of the evening and then offer commentary.

I arrived on the campus at about 6:00pm and was amazed at the size.  The campus is sprawling.  It was dark, so I could not get a complete view, but it has to be many acres.  I crossed the pedestrian bridge from the parking garage and walked through the center of the campus.  Immediately to the right stood the Refinery.  This appeared to be Saddleback’s student building because there were teenagers everywhere.  The building is very large and looked pretty cool from the outside.


Let me describe the Worship Center.  It was smaller than I had anticipated.  I figured that it would be the size of a basketball arena, but it was much smaller.  I’m guessing that it seated less than 5,000 people.  That’s pretty small for a church that has many more members than that.  But, I had to remember that they have two services on Saturday night and at least five services on Sunday.  Plus, there are other venues around the campus that broadcast the service on televisions, including the Terrace Cafe.  You can enjoy your cup of coffee and witness the worship service from the convenience of the coffee shop.

arsenio_2The stage reminded me of the set of The Arsenio Hall Show, back in the early ’90s.  The background is a little cheesy with different color lights that change to fit the mood.  The band is on the side of the stage and the band leader sat with his guitar in his lap during the sermon.  He reminded me of Kevin Eubanks from the Tonight Show.  There are three big screens that are definitely big, but not High Def.  This was disappointing.  I have been to Willow Creek and they have High Def.  I’m not saying that Willow is better than Saddleback; I’m just saying that I like my mega-church pastors in High Def.

The upbeat music that started the service got the crowd rocking, and that was not a good thing.  By no means did I conduct a scientific poll, but the crowd appeared to be about 95% white, ages 40 to 60.  This is not good when they try to dance, including the guy leading the music.  Yes, he was dancing.

Well, check out the rest over there.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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