Churches change up worship

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Churches in Portales and Clovis are trying to find new ways of reaching out.

Some keep with tradition in Sunday morning services while others are going a different style.

First Baptist Church in Portales started a contemporary services held later than usual. Pastor David McFadden said the church has had some success in scheduling two services on Sunday.

“Of course we have folks coming in,” McFadden said. “Part of it could be that the service is at 10:30 a.m., when our traditional was at 9 a.m. Some thought that was too early. I think most of them are attracted to the different worship style.”

The later service plays contemporary gospel music and includes a more interactive sermon, featuring McFadden asking questions or discussing issues directly with the congregation.

“We’ve had a lot of people come and had a lot interest,” McFadden said. “We don’t promote our service as contemporary, but more of a casual service.”

Casual in more ways than one. Where some choose to dress formally for a traditional service, those attending the contemporary service often show up in blue jeans and T-shirts.

Central Baptist Church in Clovis has taken a more progressive turn in contemporary teaching by planting an entire new church in the community with The Vine Community Church.

Vine Community started meeting on Saturdays but switched to a 10 a.m. Sunday service at Clovis Christian High School.

Church leaders call their service progressive.

“Progressive as being defined as stuff that is …fairly new praise and worship,” Central Baptist Church Senior Pastor Alan McAlister said. “Probably more up beat, band driven as a opposed to piano, organ and choir, that kind of thing.”

Vine Community Church meets in small groups. Sermons are simple and easy for people to follow with their bibles.

Vine’s Lead Pastor Derek Osburn describes music as much the same as can be heard on popular contemporary gospel radio.

Explained Osburn, “We try to make it simple…tell them where verses can be found, so to encourage people to bring their bibles and look it up for themselves. We don’t hand out anything. But we provide a journal to take their own notes and take it home.”

Services remain traditional at Faith in Christ Lutheran Church in Portales, said Rev. Gary Piepkorn.

“It is a set form of a conversation between the pastor and the congregation,” Piepkorn said.

The 9 a.m. service begins with a confessional and absolution, followed by a chanting of song between the pastor and the congregation. They sing traditional hymns.

A bible study for all ages follows after the service at 10:30 a.m.

“It is not something that would fall into the category of contemporary in any way shape or form,” Piepkorn said.