Different, Yet the Same

South Soddy

Yesterday (Sunday) I was blessed to be able to preach at two different churches, one in the morning, the other in the evening.

Yesterday morning I was the guest speaker at South Soddy Baptist Church. The congregation there was warm and friendly and very receptive to the message I delivered. Below it a picture I took inside the auditorium (sanctuary).


Notice, South Soddy Baptist was constructed back in 1946. It is small, simple building by today’s standards.

Mile Straight

Last night I was very privileged to be invited to speak at Mile Straight Baptist Church. Mile Straight is a much more modern building (it’s been remodeled, too) with plenty of up-to-date technology. Click HERE to visit their website – it’s pretty cool.


Notice, even though Mile Straight has a more modern layout than South Soddy, something about the two are very similar. Can you tell what that is?

Neither have big choir lofts.

I first noticed this at South Soddy yesterday morning. I noticed how in the old design of this church the focus was never supposed be on the choir. Instead of an entertainment-like model many Christians have come to expect, this old church was set up so that the congregation would do all the singing and “worshiping,” not simply be entertained by the choir.

When I got to Mile Straight I saw the same thing. Oh, Mile Straight used to have a choir, but not so much anymore (I think). No, more focus is place on congregational singing than choirs. Even though they do have more of a “praise team,” the idea is to lead the congregation in worship rather than just sit and listen to others do it.

Honestly, I have no problem with wonderful, trained choirs. Friday night I got to hear my daughter Katie sing a solo in her college choir, and it was chillingly glorious! But that was a true performance…we paid to go see that. Church services should never be about entertaining the crowd; they should be about corporate worship. So, have a choir if you want, but encourage the congregation to be more than just consumers.

Two very different church congregations and buildings, yet still very alike in at least one important way.



Filed under baptist, Christian Unity, Church, worship

4 responses to “Different, Yet the Same

  1. Yup. Our church meeting in a movie theater confuses a lot of people. We set it up every single week for it to transform from a movie theater to our church. That allows for us to not only enjoy being part of the service during the music part of the service, but is teaching our children about serving the Lord. They are getting up on Sunday morning realllly early, helping set up the various classrooms, main worship area, welcome center, etc… which teaches them to have a servant’s heart. Different that other churches, but same goals. Win/win!!!

  2. Totally agree with you, Anthony. Of our church’s five services, only one has a choir. The rest of the services are lead by a praise team. The one with the choir is attended by our older members. There is an exception to our services held in the sanctuary. On Father’s Day weekend, the men of the church form a choir to lead worship on our Saturday evening service and both services on Sunday morning. I’ve always enjoyed participating in that service. The harmonies are fantastic even though most of us can’t sing.

  3. Very Interesting…. I had not really thought of that but now that you mention it…. it makes perfect sense! Valerie

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