Today I attended Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, to conclude my survey of conservative and mega churches. Pastor Leith Anderson gave the sermon. He is also the president of the U.S. National Association of Evangelicals. In November he replaced Ted Haggard, former spiritual advisor to President Bush.
Today’s sermon was about politics, but it was handled in a nonpartisan way. First they showed portraits of political and religious leaders throughout world history, both good and bad, both conservative and liberal. Later they showed a video of a minister confronted by Nazis as he preached to his congregation. Anderson talked about political repression under King Herod. He concluded by encouraging the congregation to pay attention to politics but to emphasize prayer.
Here’s how I would compare the churches, but bear in mind most of them I only attended once:Crystal Evangelical Free Church
– Great music, a major emphasis on raising money the week I was there.Fourth Baptist
– Mostly theologically conservative, but its members are also very politically conservative.Hope Community Church
– Charismatic, encouraging individual expression, conservatism not overt.Living Word Christian Center
– Lavish, diverse, openly politically conservative, calling for Iran overthrow.Wooddale Church
– Politics covered but in a nonpartisan way. Indirect connections to President Bush.