Excerpts from Urban Churches, Vital Signs
The Sunday morning worship at Ingleside Presbyterian Church is a moving experience of music and powerful preaching. The congregation is modest in size, ranging from 100 to 150 people, and is warm, welcoming, and winsome in spirit. The sanctuary has been refurbished. There is a center pulpit and communion table in the chancel. Colorful banners reflect the joyful and praise-oriented spirit of the people.
Hymn singing is vigorous. The choir is a major force in the worship atmosphere of praise and spiritual energy. "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord" (Zechariah 4:6b) describes the moving force in this worshipping congregation which has taken for its motto, "We walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7).
In the middle of the worship service there is a time for greeting, welcoming, and reaching out to embrace one another. It is a high-energy time in the morning service. Members mingle throughout the sanctuary. The choir joins in the mixing. Old and young, members and guests move freely about the whole worship area. This precedes the preaching and clearly creates an atmosphere of energy and positive expectation. Roland Gordon's preaching invites a lively response.
The sermon is biblical exposition lifted up by high-energy delivery, and congregational responses punctuate the pastor's preaching. There can be no doubt the people are actively listening. Worship is at the heart of the renewal at Ingleside Presbyterian Church.
Worship is followed by dinner served to members and visitors in the church gym. There is friendly visiting -- a hubbub of conversation -- and family gatherings around the Sunday afternoon tables.
Visitors and inquirers are especially welcomed as guests, and members invite the visitors to sit with them and get acquainted. There is a lot of church committee work and member consultation that gets done at this time. There is a continuation of the positive spirit generated earlier in worship. As families, friends, and visitors break bread around the tables, the body of Christ is being knit together with an inner strength that enables members to go out and serve in the wider community.