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Community Hope Church

29. 5. 2011

My first church visit was to Community Hope Church in Montezuma, Iowa. I would like to thank Kodi Thompson-Moore '11 and Stephanie Wang '11 for taking me with them and answering my questions about the church. I tried to stay objective, but my observations may not provide an accurate picture of the church because I only visited once and I entered the church with an atheistic mindset.


Community Hope Core Values

Biblically Based

Kingdom Focused

Missions Minded

Reaching the Next Generation

Every Member Ministers


Image take from http://yourweeklypaper.com/blog/2011/04/26/community-hope-church-sanctuary-is-powerful/

Topic of the sermon: God is able

According to the pastor, we can discover that God is able through 4 names that he was called in the Bible: banner,  provider,  shepherd, and healer. The pastor provided stories from the Bible that portrayed God as being able.

What I liked

  • Welcoming Church Community
    From the moment I entered the church, everyone was nice to me. People noticed that I was a new person and they welcomed me in a very friendy way. They even gave me a small gift that they give to newcomers - a banana bread.

  • Pastor's Great Public Speaking Sills
    The Pastor, Todd Jones, won't ever make you fall asleep. He speaks clearly, maintains eye contact with the audience, is trully passionate about what he is saying, and inserts jokes that are actually funny into his sermon. Moreover, his sermon was well organized. Although I did not agree with everything he said, I enjoyed sitting there and listening to him for an hour.

  • Good Use of Technology
    The church uses PowerPoint slides during songs so that everyone can read the lyrics while singing with the music band. The background of the slides is not static; it has growing flowers on it and it's fun to watch them grow. The pastor also shows brief videos that are relevant to the topic of the sermon.

  • Involvement of  the Church Members
    The church provides many opportunities for the church members to get involved, including playing in the band, baby-sitting during the service, preparing  breakfast for other members, and sharing testimonies during the service.

What Surprised me

  • People Showing Emotions
    I was surprised that people were not afraid to show how they feel in front of others. I saw many people raise their hands in affection as they were singing about God, and several people had tears in their eyes. One man stood up in front of the others and shared his story about how he was healed by God.

  • Donations
    I must be a really naive person, but I completely forgot that church members are expected to give donations to their church, and I was quite surprised when I saw people passing around a donation bag. The idea of giving a portion of income to a church and trusting that it will be used wisely does not sound very appealing to me, but I understand that church needs money to operate.

What I didn't like

  • The Pastor said that humans are more valuable than animals
    I understand that he was paraphrasing what was written in the Bible, but I don't think we have the right to think that we are more valuable than animals because our wellbeing depends on the healthy balance of ecosystems on our planet. With this approach, we might find ourselves starving one day.

  • Memorial Day Remarks
    While talking about Memorial Day, the pastor honored those who served the country to "defeat our enemy." He said that "we all have an enemy, but through lord we can win the battle and defeat our enemy." He made it seem like God was on the side of Americans as they were fighting the "enemies" abroad, but honestly, I don't think God was on either side of the battle.




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