This weekend Kris and I were guests of Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas. Wow. We had a great time. We had a public event Saturday evening — I spoke for one hour about the gospel of Embracing Grace and then we had a vigorous hour of discussion. Then on Sunday I spoke three times — 2x Sunday morning and 1x Sunday evening. Lead and teaching pastor Andy and Alice McQuitty were our hosts, and Steve Roese looked after every detail. It is hard for me to describe IBC, but let me try:
First, IBC is missional. Churches today on the vanguard of evangelicalism are striving for a balance between the spiritual and the social, and if you’d like an example, take a good look at IBC. They are growing and they have a thriving presence in the community, especially in helping a local grade school.
Second, IBC’s worship theology and philosophy is profound. Russ Ware leads the worship team. They are creative and they have found a unique blend of the spontaneous and contemporary with the liturgical and traditional. In the three services many folks knelt at the altar and lit candles — a rich new experience many are finding helpful in progressive churches. In our opinion, the best I’ve yet experienced.
Third, IBC has a wonderful sense of aesthetics to the building. I can’t even explain it all — but a Wittenburg Door on which folks nail their major decisions, a children’s ministry with all kinds of colorful detail, and a wonderful attention to light and color in the sanctuary. A big prayer room with a labyrinth, and (of course) a coffee shop. And they have a big children’s indoor play area open to the public — anytime the church facilities are open.
If you are considering how to minister to the next generation — with that combination of tradition and contemporary — here’s a great, great example.