While I was visiting my friend in Oregon, we were able to attend a church called Imago Dei (in case your wondering, "imago dei" means "image of God"). I first heard about Imago Dei by reading Donald Miller (if you don't know that name, go read his book Blue Like Jazz right now). Two years ago I was at a leadership conference where I heard the pastor (Rick Mckinley) and Donald Miller have a conversation about Imago Dei and its impact in the community. Unlike some churches in Portland, Imago Dei is liked by the city. Its hard for a church to get liked by a city that has a politically liberal bent.
Needless to say, I was excited to attend this church. I was not let down, it was an excellent experience. They meet in a high school theatre. A really nice high school theatre. The music was excellent and Rick Mckinley gave a solid sermon. Both the music and the sermon were uncompromising in their worship of Jesus. Rick talked about Paul's prayer in Ephesians 1. Here are four random things I liked about the sermon (quotes may not be exact):
1. He talked about the difference in our inhereitance and God's inheritance (Eph. 1:14 and 18). Ours being this incredibly just and loving God and God's being a bunch of screwed up people. That's grace.
2. He called Paul's words in Eph. 1:3-14 "theological missiles exploding in the air." There's something about putting theology and missiles together that I really like for some reason.
3. He said "If all you believe in is this life, then you will live in hopelessness, if however, you believe in something more than just this life, then you have hope." An excellent way to share truth without condemning or sounding judgmental.
4. After talking about the difference between "knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus" we had communion. He introduced communion by saying "this table is our initiation into a relationship with Jesus, come if you are tired of knowing about him and want to know him." I like the idea of communion being an initiation into a relationship, I think I will steal it for the next time I lead communion.