- Lots of good take-away stuff to learn from and work on (low-barrier for newbies; professionally produced materials; well-branded from web to site; message that connects to real life; targeted demographic with broad-based appeal; etc.)
- Some of what we think of as church 'stuff'' is just human nature: you gotta train people and remind them how to reach out to newcomers; you can't expect folks to love 45-minute long sermons; don't expect people to sit in the front rows until all the other seats are taken; not everyone likes to sing so lots of guys especially will stand there with their hands in their pockets and their mouths clamped shut whether it's an organ or a rock band playing tunes.
- It's never a good idea to dis' other traditions or come across as judgmental in your worship...the preacher said he was once in a church where they said the creed on a weekly basis and he "knew" most of the people there didn't believe what they were saying. Poor form.
- I was impressed on some levels but not as much or thoroughly as I had expected I would be. I probably wouldn't go back - not because of the location or music but because it felt like I was really there alone in a crowd of people - and that sermon length...oy! It felt more like a Bible study than a sermon - a darn good Bible study...
Above all, I plan to do something like this on a more regular basis - once a quarter or every six months, take a Sunday and go somewhere very different. I think it's a good practice for clergy especially to experience worship in another tradition and to reflect on the experience. The fact that NCC regularly share in the Lord's Supper and worked in the creed leads me to believe that their pastor has done this, too.