September 28, 2009

Church Experiment #39: Zion Temple Pentecostal

I knew Zion Temple First Pentecostal Church ( was going to be outside of my comfort zone (most weeks of this experiment have been), but I have been concerned that my visits are actually fanning the flames of bitterness and resentment I feel toward other Christians. That was not one of my original goals. I figured a Pentecostal church is about as far away from my personal ideology as I can get, so this Sunday was sort of a test. Am I really maturing through this process? Is God really softening my heart? Or am I just full of hot air?

I knew Zion Temple was a predominantly black church before I arrived, but I didn’t realize I would literally be the only white person in attendance (I estimated there were about two hundred people total). That didn’t bother me, but I definitely stood out, which made me feel like everyone was watching me, which made it a little awkward. I encourage all church leaders reading this book to visit a church way outside of your comfort zone at least once a year to remind yourself how newcomers feel when they walk into your building.

To finish reading about this experience or any of the reflections from my 52 visits, please purchase the full book here.