While I was in Atlanta I checked out the night service at Buckhead. Buckhead is a satellite campus of North Point Community Church led by Andy Stanley and is regarded as one of the most innovative churches in America. It started in 2001 and is geared towards the twenty-something’s crowd.
The church must be exploding because their parking is far beyond maxed out. For blocks coming into the church you see a mix of signs saying ‘church parking here’ or ‘no church parking’ in the neighboring store and restaurant parking lots.
They have shuttles that take people in from designated parking areas further out and often need to turn people away from the church because they’d be breaking fire regulations.
It’s held in what looks like a converted barn. However, as soon as you head in it’s as contemporary as it gets. Sleek foyer, with Flat screen monitors hanging on the walls.
Entering the sanctuary, it was so dark I couldn’t find my way through, I felt a bit like I was entering a haunted house during Halloween. Much of this was because there was a heavy black curtain between the closed door behind me and the sanctuary. (now that I think about it makes some sense, because it’s always a bit distracting at our church when people come in late and the light peers through the door as the lights are dimmed).
The whole service was dark, with lights scattered across the ceiling, that looked like stars in the expanse. Louie Giglio gave an astronomy lesson for a good half hour and interlaced it with God’s awesomeness in creation. I felt like I was at a planetarium more than a church. It was great! You can check out the message here, titled ‘astronomical grace’
What’s amazing is how large a community Buckhead gathers using pre-recorded messages from North Point. I knew going in that I was watching a video-feed, but a few minutes in, they actually convinced me that there was someone on stage. If you look at my picture on the bottom right, that’s a video of Louie Giglio, but because they have the screen going all the way down to the stage floor it looks like he’s right there!
Anyhow, I can’t describe how embarrassing it was taking pictures during a church service.
I accidentally left the flash on during my first shot and everyone turned back staring at me. Hopefully I’ll know better next time. Overall a decent mega-church experience.