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166: Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
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Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
Mystery Worshipper: Boronia.
The church: Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Queensland, Australia.
Denomination: Westminster Presbyterian.
The building: The church meets in a lecture room at the university.
The neighbourhood: The university is very environmentally aware as they are next to Toohy State Forest. The grounds are a continuation of the forest, with the buildings designed to blend into the environment. The lecture room was in the Environmental Science Building.
The cast: From what I could gather, Lyle & Phil take it in turns to preach and oversee the church outreach at the Uni.
What was the name of the service?
"Uni Impact" – it was a Sunday evening service, 6.30pm.

How full was the building?
About 40 people were present, which made the room about two-thirds full. Probably 25 were students and the rest from local churches.

Did anyone welcome you personally?
Surprisingly, no one was at the door to welcome. A nice young bloke came and said g'day and we had a chat before the service started.

Was your pew comfortable?
The good people of Griffith University provide very comfortable seats in their lecture rooms – perfect for taking notes during the message! Perhaps churches should think about installing them. The seats were set amphitheatre style so you didn't miss a thing.

How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Musicians and singers busy setting up, some people sitting quietly, others speaking softly in groups.

What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Has anyone any notices?"

What books did the congregation use during the service?
None, except their own Bibles. Hymns were on the overhead.

What musical instruments were played?
Organ, guitar, drums, flute, violin and trumpet.

Did anything distract you?
There were no young children to distract – the youngest there was a boy of about 11, who did a great job on the drums. One thing about lecture rooms, they are stark and designed not to distract!

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Middle of the road. Everyone sang the modern songs loud and clear, enjoying them, but with reverence. They listened intently and earnestly to the preacher – perhaps they thought there was an exam after!

Exactly how long was the sermon?
45 minutes.

On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
8. Lyle (about 30 years old) did the preaching and to be honest it took some getting used to his American accent. The only time I've heard American preachers is on the television. I was expecting Lyle to start raving any minute, but he pleasantly surprised me with the depth and solidness of his message.

In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
Wisdom: what it is, where it comes from and how to apply it to our lives.

Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
There was a song about all the nations of the earth praising God and I looked around to see at least six different nationalities singing and praising God. I thought, this is really beautiful.

And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
Nothing. Even the 45-minute message was so good I couldn't list that here.

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
A number of people spoke to me and were very friendly. Had I got out very quickly I would not have known what lovely people worship there. My advice to them: make your friendliness known to people as they arrive!

How would you describe the after-service coffee?
I was so busy talking, I didn't get any, but I did spy the plastic cups, teabags, coffee, cake and bickies.

How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
8. This service is designed for university students and graduates who are fair dinkum about their faith and really want to eat meat. Anyone, any age, wanting solid teaching (with a sense of humour thrown in) would feel at home here.

Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Yes, especially seeing so many students really wanting a deep relationship with God.

What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
God's wisdom is greater than mine!
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