Sanctuary: a new church in Charleston

I had a great worship time last Sunday at a new church in Charleston. Apparently, not only is the church new to me, it is new to the city as well! We saw the sign for the church ( driving by, and decided to plan on going there on Sunday. We liked the idea of a new church start in the midst of a city filled with old historic church buildings. This church must want t5o accomplish something different. Also, it meets in a school, which our church, does as well.

Something that really impressed me was the church's website. They had done everything possible to make it useful to a person who had no idea what the church was about (me). It was done with a very professional look, a simple design, and very focused attention to detail. I liked this especially because Sanctuary is not a huge church. Somehow, we have fallen into the trap of thinking that only the big churches can do it right.... don't be mislead.

We rode our bikes to church, which was a whole new experience... nice Sunday clothes with a layer of warm sweat underneath. We pulled up to the church, and were greeted warmly. However, we weren't really told what to do. We were just kindly said "hello" to, and left to figure things out for ourselves. This wasn't really a big deal. Once we got farther into the building, a children's worker saw us wandering around, and quickly led us over to the children's area.

The worship service was held in a gymnasium, and was produced with pretty good quality. My technical and critical side came out a little bit, when I noticed a few things I would have wanted to do differently, but these were very minor distractions. The service incorporated the Lord's Supper, which we enjoyed again. The band was awesome (sounding), but I am learning more and more the importance of how well a team leads visually as well. It challenged me to go back to some videos when I get home to see how well we are interacting visually, and with eye contact with our congregation. It is totally necessary to help them engage in worship.

My wife and I were an emotional roller coaster, with everything wee have going on, so the message, and the worship time spoke to us very deeply. Yet, it what the people who spoke to us after the service who rocked our world. We had a young couple come up and introduce themselves to us after the service, and only minutes after speaking with us offered us a place to stay in their home nearby. It was surprising. These were members of the church. This was not the pastor. They didn't know that I am a worship leader, a student pastor, or even a Christian for that matter... yet I was welcome to come and live with them if we needed a place.... and not a guest house, or an empty apartment, but in their house with them. It was humbling...

Then I did meet the worship leader Ryan, who turns out to have been praying for our son Josiah, through our posts on twitter or . He also offered to help us in any way possible. God has been good to us.

Looking for a great church in Charleston? We loved Sanctuary church, and Erin plans to attend it again. I will be returning to my leading worship responsibilities, so it is doubtful I will get back there anytime soon, but I recommend that you give them a try! These people "get" what Jesus wanted us to be.


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