Church is the highlight of our week. Church has changed drastically for us since moving to Arizona. Since I myself didn’t have a clear picture of what a Sunday at a small church plant looked like, I thought I’d give you all a glimpse of what we do on Sundays, so you know how to better pray for us. This is just our perspective. There are many hours of work that you won’t see because others in the church graciously serve in those capacities.
Getting ready in the morning requires a lot more organization. There is a lot of luggage we need to take with us each week. We load the church’s keyboard and bench into the trunk of our car. (The church has allowed us to take the keyboard home each week so I can practice the piano. Once we have a house of our own, I’ll have access to my piano.) We gather our Bibles, our every-present and ever-necessary water bottles, coffee, the mp3 recorder to capture the morning message, music books for special music, and possibly my flute. Our goal is to leave by 9:00 so we can be at church by 9:30 to help set up.
It takes us almost exactly 25 minutes to get to the Verrado Middle School. Pastor Ryan Horkavy and his family pull in after setting up several roadside church signs at strategic intersections. Driving through town on Sunday, we see many roadside church signs for start-up churches meeting in schools all over the valley.
The cafeteria is our auditorium, so we begin setting up chairs.
Some church folks bring seat cushions, and one couple brings their comfy camp chairs for the service. I’ve thought about bringing seat cushions, but it would just be more luggage to haul! Next, we set out the hymnals.
The men unpack the church’s equipment which is kept in a mini-storage shed inside a cafeteria closet. It’s a huge blessing that the school allows us to keep CBC’s equipment onsite as the Horkavys were bringing all of it each week in their van!
The podium is placed up front with a floral arrangement and microphone in front of it. A carpet is unrolled behind the pulpit and a small table is set up with a projector on top.
Jen Horkavy makes a PowerPoint each week with all the songs and announcements.
The speakers are set up and plugged in to our sound system.The ladies set up a table in the back of the cafeteria and spread out visitor cards, church brochures, offering envelopes, and refreshments.
We also set up Children’s Church and nursery in the gymnasium foyer. A large colorful carpet is spread on the floor with bouncy seats, a playpen, swing, and tubs full of toys and books spread around. Since we’ve been here, we’ve had only 2 babies in the nursery-both visitors. A table and chairs are set up on the other end of the foyer for the kids.
Pastor Ryan begins the morning service with announcements. Then we sing several songs, welcome visitors, and greet one another. Usually we have a first-time visitor every week. Many people come to CBC after receiving a door hanger or flyer left on their doorstep. It’s great to see new faces!
The church has 26 official members with around 8 regular attenders on top of that, so there are usually about 35-40 people on a Sunday morning. After the offering and special music, the kids are dismissed to Children’s Church.
After the service, we move our things to the back of the church and take down most of the chairs. The speakers, microphones, offering plates, church literature, nursery equipment, and children’s church furniture are put away. The hymnals are replaced with chorus songbooks.
So far, we’ve eaten Sunday dinner at home only once since folks have been inviting us over each afternoon. It’s been so great to get to know the people of Crossroad.
The evening service begins at 5:30. Once we arrive, I go over my songs that I’m playing for the congregational singing that evening. The attendance is usually between 10-15 people, and the atmosphere is less formal and more like a family setting. We sing, take praises and prayer requests, and then the children are dismissed for Kids4Truth.
While Pastor Ryan shares a Bible study, Jen teaches the kids in a classroom, and I help out. Usually we’re in a room with no chairs, so the kids sit on the floor. We sing, have a Bible story, eat snacks, color, and play games.
Once the evening service is over, we put the chairs away, pack up the piano, and repack the storage shed. Stephen and I put the piano and bench in our trunk again. He takes the mp3 recorder home to upload the sermon to the church website. I collect visitor cards to enter into the church database and create follow-up letters. The Horkavys pick up all the roadside church signs, and we all head home after a great day in God’s house! Of course, there are a lot of other tasks that Stephen and I don’t do or don’t even think about as they are expertly taken care of by the Horkavys and other church members.
God is showing Himself faithful at Crossroad Baptist Church! If you are ever in the Phoenix area, please visit us and get to know our church family.