Having heard and appreciated some of Pastor Michael Youssef's teaching on Christian radio, I took a rare free Sunday to visit his church, Church of the Apostles in north Atlanta. I was struck by several things during the service yesterday.
One, I was glad they did not show Pastor Youssef on the large screens during his sermon. Most large churches (which this certainly was) show the pastor on large screens so congregants can see them more easily. This always distracts me from looking at the actual preacher, and in a way dehumanizes them in my experience. I was glad to look at Pastor Youssef and not a digital representation of him.
Second, the song worship was a mixture of old hymns and newer contemporary Christian music. It reinforced to me the fact that traditional hymns are merely contemporary songs that have survived the test of time. There was a time when "A Mighty Fortress" was a brand new song and probably scrutinized critically by the old fuddy-duddies in Luther's cathedral.
Third, having heard Pastor Youssef preach several times on radio it was thrilling to be there in person. He let loose with a great sermon yesterday, and there was no way to bottle it up and transmit it to radio or television as it was experienced live. I know people listening in the near future will be blessed by the message, but I maintain that physically attending church with other believers is a unique experience which must be sought out at all costs if Christians are to enjoy the fulness of the benefits belonging to the family of God.