Church TourRevist

The Donelson Fellowship

The Donelson Fellowship – Non Denominational Church Nashville
3210 McGavock Pk,
Nashville, TN 37214

Sunday Service Times: 8:30 – 9:45 – 11:00 – 1:00p (en español)

The Donelson Fellowship is a fairly interesting group that meets 4 different times on a Sunday morning and for a first time guest makes it fairly simple from parking to exit. The format itself seems to lend itself to maximize teaching while still taking care of business from beginning to end.

The building itself can be seen from far away as you approach it. The entrance is a bit ambiguous as you could end up on the wrong side but there is guest parking available once you figure out the right spot. You are looking for ‘Worship Center’.  Once you find the Worship Center, there are big doors you go through and walk inside.

Once inside, there’s a lobby with a cafe with Shipley do-nuts, lounge / fellowship area, new guest spot, and of course the doors to the sanctuary. The Café has boxes upon boxes of Shipley Do-nuts and people serving them along with coffee. The amount of Shipley do-nuts is insane. Once again it’s important to note they didn’t skimp on the donuts. It was like Wonka’s Donut factory right there. It’s a good thing to have before going inside the sanctuary.

Once inside there was plenty of seating and two screens. The seating consisted of sides and a center, the screens consisted of two sides and a pair of stage displays in the rear. Announcements cycled including the midweek service, a breakfast, prayer, and vision statement of this non-denominational church in Nashville. I thought for a first time guest it was nice to have the vision statement out front so you know what you are getting yourself into – to me that was very first-time-guest friendly. There was a degree of personal attention as well.

For personal attention, I was greeted by a pastor as well as others. The pastor took the time to ask if I had any questions before service. I simply needed to know where the bathroom was – and tho he was mic’d up, he walked me to the bathroom – bonus points for that. The transition timer listed the phrases “Experience Freedom, Discover Your Purpose, Find Fulfillment” as worship approached.

The worship set was short but featured a full band. It was an opening song. It was enough to get the service started and probably the format followed to keep the service running at about an hour. Before I knew it, there was a speaker and a missionary up front.

The speaker and missionary introduced the next sermon series topic – spiritual warfare. The missionary talked about an encounter they had in another country. He spoke of a demon possessed man who confronted him, later re-encountered him and took control of the driver seat / steering wheel of the vehicle, prayer took place where the missionary was unharmed and eventually the demon possessed man was baptized. One part was missing – I’m hoping the demon possessing the man was cast out – I was waiting for that part – but that’s a lot to ask story-wise in a Sunday morning general audience seeker friendly setting. The main speaker then began his message.

 The main speaker continued to unpack the main message under the banner title “Start Strong” and cited several scriptures relating to the topic of ‘spiritual warfare’. The topic was unpacked in a fairly sequential yet scriptural way that was both easy to digest but fairly biblically referenced. It’s a touch topic to listen to if you don’t have a frame of reference or an abundance of Christian-ese in your vocabulary but the speaker managed to do the introductory message in a way that a new visitor or non-believer should have been able to follow which is no small feat.  Following the message, communion started.

Communion was a general open believers communion. The usual scriptures were spoken followed by a time of prayer, reflection and securing of the elements. It was taken individually, i.e. you could pray, take it, sit, and consume without waiting for anyone else or a pastoral prompt. This made it fairly straight forward for a first-time guest. A song prompted the close of communion.

Another worship segment followed. The worship segment was interesting because it used progressive lighting. The front line member on the audience left opened and the light was on them and the others were dark, then the next member came in and they were lit, so on and so forth. To me that was an interesting way to do lighting cues – by the end the whole team was visible. After the songs there was a bit of housekeeping yet to do.

Houskeeping continued with a few more items. A card was shown by the speaker. The card was for scripture memorization. It featured scripture and tips. The tithe and offering was displayed in terms of ‘ways to give’ and the whole affair ended in about 67 minutes. It wasn’t a bad run time for a first time guest either lending to it’s accessiblity.

The Donelson Fellowship is very accessible for a first time guest. It’s not overly sprinkled in Christianese that you might expect at a non-denomnational church in Nashville and the sacraments are done in a way you could pretty much fudge your way through if you aren’t sure. It’s also got something else going for it – trinkets.

Bonus: the first time visitors trinket box / gift was among the best I’ve seen – though 24 churches into this my mug / cup collection has grown. The kit also had a journal, pen, candy and a few other items in it. This is of course in addition to the Shipley Donut Factory in the cafe. The Scripture memorization card was pretty nicely done too on finished card stock.