So Cho moved in yesterday and I think we're going to really hit it off. He greeted me with a traditional Korean gift which was so appreciated! Let's see... I've been here a little over a week and God has already shown me his provision in friendships. I checked out a church called "The Next Level" which sounds a little out there, but it has a great meaning. The leaders of the church hold that no matter where you are in your faith, there's always room to grow to the next level in that relationship. The church meets on Tuesday nights in a rented church space. They do this for missional opportunties: they believe people who don't know Christ would more likely come to a service on a Tuesday rather than on a traditional Sunday. It's also a missional opportunity to go to the slopes or somewhere else on Sunday mornings... which, if you think about it, is really neat. Not that many Christians are out and about on Sunday mornings, leaving great opportunities to reach out to people... just a thought. I actually met some people at TNL last week. We all started talking and soon found ourselves at a local bar ordering a PITCHER of hot chocolate and playing darts... so random and awesome.
Another really cool thing about TNL is their structure of leadership. There is no senior pastor. There are four pastors who are on an equal level and oversee different parts of the church. I like this model (which I think it pretty biblical) because it alleviates pressure from one person. No one has to feel the weight of the church alone and no one can take credit for the church... And plus, if Christ is our high priest, then why would someone else be "in charge." I'm not knocking traditional structures of church leadership, I just think it might be healthier for a "senior pastor" to not have to feel like he has to lead the church on his own...
I also visited another church called "Westwoods Community." It reminded me alot of Trinity Chapel. It meets in a strip mall and is pretty small, but warm. No one really came up to me or anything (I went with one of my friends), but I still felt at home there. So I don't know where I'll end up calling my "church home", but I'm not going to worry about that and just let the spirit lead.
This past week I also went to an area called "Red Rocks." It's an outdoor concert arena in the mountains which overlooks the Denver metro area... Such breath-taking views. My friend and I just sat there for quite some time people-watching. On stage, there was a guy playing the guitar as another beat-boxed (I've never written that out, so that might not be how you spell it...). The beat-boxer's girlfriend soon brought out her hula-hoops and started entertaining the small crowd gathered to see the spectacle. It was quite interesting to watch. Soon after, a lady started dancing quite oddly to the guitar beat. She flew around the stage with her pouch of absinthe on his shoulder, which she shared with anyone and everyone who wanted a taste. They then lit up and starting smoking right there on stage. Colorado culture is much different about that. I've seen people smoking out in the open a number of times. You don't find that in the parts of Fort Worth or Midland I come from. Again, it's a different culture up here and I've only now been introduced to it.
On that same note, churches here preach alot of messages that attract new Christians I've noticed. Alot of the outreach here is to non-Christians and how to develop a new relationsip with Christ. It's so different than messages in the bible belt where everyone knows what Christianity is. I was talking to a friend the other day about the difference between Colorado and Texas Christianity. We came to the conclusion that it would be more difficult to work in the bible belt opening people's eyes to what Christianity is really about. Texans and other places in the south have mastered what I call "societal Christianity" in which Christianity is more of a status symbol than a way of life. My heart aches for such people which makes me think that I will go back to Texas at some point. I just can't stay away.