Things to think on
Sierra Bible Church
I left the selection of a time up to Hunter this week, although I reserved the choice of church, Sierra Bible Church, for myself. He had a choice of 8 a.m. or 11 a.m. on Sunday. We’d had a very busy Friday and Saturday, so I’m pretty sure he wanted to get Filet of Soul out of the way so we could move on to some serious sitting around. Hope springs eternal, I guess, because nobody gets to sit around when I’m the dad, and I wanted to plant a couple of fruit trees.
You’ll probably recognize the name of the church. It’s on the north side of I-80 as you head west out of town. You get there from West Seventh Street.
This place is huge. There’s a labyrinth of classrooms and other things under the roof. We came in with a bunch of people, so only one greeter caught us on our way in. The sanctuary is very large, the well-padded pews are aquamarine—"Teal,” Hunter says. The walls are white except for a couple of tan, rough block walls. The wall behind the chancel or stage is wood, with three stained-glass panels, the center one a representation of a cross. There was a lot of instrumentation, including drums, two guitars, a bass, clarinet, saxophone, keyboards and violin and a singer. There were potted plants on the stage with a very nice and large purple and white bouquet to the left. To the front right was a stack of bricks. There’s a series of tapestries around the room with words emblazoned: Savior, Jehova, Worship, Learning, Fellowship, Serving, and one that said, “A Journey of Growth, Relationships, Adoration, Compassion, Evangelism,” which made the acronym GRACE. At the right front of the room was a tall, rough cross draped in brown cloth.
I’d guess this place could hold 350 people comfortably—maybe more. There were about 150-200 in attendance.
On this particular Sunday morning, there are about 70 kids arranged at the front for singing. Dressed in their Sunday best for recitations, it was cute as can be. They looked to be in the first through fourth grade range—hard to say from my vantage point.
After the children left, the music was a modern take on traditional songs: “Crown Him with Many Crowns,” “Majesty, Worship His Majesty,” and “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.”
The spoken part of the service began with an opening prayer by a gentleman recently returned from a three-year mission in Guatemala. He prayed for the “brick program,” the Olsen family, the Kenya missionaries, troop safety, that the government protect Christians’ rights and that God sets the congregations hearts to loving Him. After the prayer, the offerings bags were passed.
The title of the sermon offered by Pastor Greg Kuehn was “Growing Healthy (while waiting for Jesus to return).” It was based on 1 Thessalonians 5:12-16, which is basically about how people should treat their church leaders.
Pastor Greg Kuehn is one of Reno’s great sermonizers, or at least he was really “on” on Sunday. He uses the whole stage, calls people by name, uses self-deprecating humor to make his points. Hunter was holding his stomach and laughing his behind off during large parts of the sermon, particularly where the pastor was telling about putting pressure on his eyeballs to show his sincerity during prayer.
I’ll cut to the chase here and give a summary of Pastor Keuhn’s talk. To grow healthy while waiting for Jesus’ return: 1) Be intentional with encouragement, be patient and at peace with everyone; 2) ask God to increase your influence, look for the weak and outcast; 3) submit to accountability (I think this meant “be obedient to authority"); and 4) think, think, think.