Things I Learned in Washington DC

It’s a great thing to learn life lessons any time you visit a new place. Here’s a few things I learned in Washington DC this week…

I visited Washington for a week and forgot how to balance my checkbook.

At the small business summit, most business owners created more jobs on their cell phones during the breaks than the Washington bureaucracy does during an entire session.

Because of Apple’s fight with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over energy policy, I’m more glad than ever that I’m not a member of the Apple computer cult.

In life, if a few people tell you that you’re crazy, keep going. If a lot of people tell you that you’re crazy, go faster.

I also learned that you never know how good things are until you see something different.

For several years my family has been attending Wellspring Church in Myrtle Beach, SC. Our church worshipped for years at the movie theaters located at Broadway at the Beach. It was a great place to have church and Pastor Trey, the staff, and the volunteers made it very churchy on Sunday mornings. It took a lot of work from the volunteers to do it but they transformed the ordinary movie theater into a sanctuary once a week.

There are a lot of other churches that have started on this model over the years and grown considerably. One the key ones is National Community Church located in Washington DC. NCC is actually known as ‘the theater church’. The work was started by Mark Batterson. I found out about NCC by reading his book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. In the book he talked a lot about the church and its beginnings.

While we were in DC this week we decided to stop at one of their locations to check out a service. I was expecting to be completely amazed and see all the really cool things we could’ve done at Wellspring. It’s not because we did anything wrong at Wellspring. It’s just because NCC has been doing this for so long.

It turned out to be just the opposite. Please don’t get me wrong about the service…the worship experience was great. It’s just that the actual church set-up at the Potomac Yards movie theater just wasn’t all that. There was very little signage out front to announce that God-business was taking place. There were no greeters. Once inside, we had to look around the huge lobby to see where the church was set-up. There were no ushers. No one offered to help us out or show us where the nursery was. No one was around to say goodbye or ask us if we were new to the area, tourists, or even Satanists conspiring to firebomb the worshippers. It was as if we were never there. The atmosphere of the church itself kinda…sucked.

It made me realize how awesome things were at Wellspring. We were new but Pastor Trey had things set up in such a great way that facilitated the total experience for all the attendees from visitors to longtime members. I think one of the most important things I learned in Washington DC this week was that just because something is old or someone is more experienced doesn’t mean that it or they is better. Sometimes it just means that they’re older or more experienced and that’s it. It also means that sometimes they could learn a few things from the young whipper-snappers.

Recommended Reading…

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars"".

Frommer’s Washington, D.C. 2011 (Frommer’s Complete Guides)"".

Planting Missional Churches"".


3 thoughts on “Things I Learned in Washington DC

  1. I was just wondering what weekend you attended service there. Memorial Day Weekend? or before :-).



    • It was the Sunday before Memorial Day. We hit the Ebenezer Coffeehouse for some refreshment a couple of days after and had an awesome experience there. I’ll blog about that one soon to give a balanced view.

  2. Pingback: Best Church Coffeeshop in the Country « The Daily Grind

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