Church-Hopping in Nashville
Since almost the first week of college, I’ve spent my Sunday mornings exploring the local Christian church scene.
Although it’s possible to go to church on campus––there’s the Episcopalian church at St. Augustine’s Chapel, Catholic services at Benton Chapel––I like exploring the surrounding city whenever I have the time. I also attend nondenominational churches.
In the beginning, I took advantage of the Navs’ scheduled “rides to church” hour on Sunday mornings at Commons. Then I had a couple of “adventures,” and now I’m still trying to settle on a church.
August 25: Cross Point Community Church
A replica of Elevation Church in Charlotte. The pastor used a live goat in his sermon illustration. Cross Point is the home church of my favorite Nashville celebrity, Jon Acuff. He’s an author and blogger––go figure.
September 1: Ethos Church
Held in a bar. Quiet. Hipster-ish. I like it.
September 8: Midtown
Dark, strung with lightbulbs. Worship band off to the side, so as to not give a “performance.” Really strong preaching.
September 15: Cross Point
I intended Green Hills to be the fifth church hop on this particular Sunday, but I missed my ride. So I decided to join my roommate at Cross Point. Then this happened:
With help from a man who works at the VU Medical Center, we changed her flat, and got to church more than halfway through the service. (Note: I am still waiting to glimpse/possibly meet Jon Acuff.)
We then went to my favorite Taste of Nashville restaurant, Chuy’s Tex-Mex. This is also where I took my parents on Family Weekend!
October 6: Green Hills Church
I had a series of weekend visitors, so I didn’t go to church again until this morning. Realizing how close Green Hills is to campus, I rode my bike. This church has by far the smallest congregation, but with plenty of college students. It also seemed very multi-cultural; afterwards I introduced myself to a crowd of Asian students from Vanderbilt. (It helps when they wear Vanderbilt t-shirts!)
This brings me full circle, since when I visited Vanderbilt as a prospective student last November, my mom and I also visited Green Hills. At that point it was still held at Cabana, another bar (this is the equivalent of having church in public school buildings back at home).
There are probably even more Nashville churches that deserve my attendance, but after seven or eight weeks, I think it’s time to settle down. Even so, it’s going to be so difficult; they are all amazing.
The criteria that may influence my decision:
1) I’m looking for a place where I can be part of a community, so the smaller congregations are appealing in that respect.
2) I like living by my own schedule, and independently transporting myself, so that’s another appealing aspect. But settling on a church will make it easier to get into a carpooling routine.
We’ll see what happens. Honestly, I think I’d be pretty happy anywhere.
[Note: Many of the organizations mentioned are not officially registered student organizations of Vanderbilt University.]