Mountain Park Community Church

2408 E. Pecos Rd
Phoenix
Arizona
85048
Senior Pastor: 
Allan Fuller
Denomination: 
Church of God
Going downhill fast!!!
1

 I have been an attender at Mountain Park for a few years now.  I started coming after their founding pastor left.  I have kids that have been through the Children's Ministry and the Youth Ministry.  

This church was interesting when I stared to attend.  There was an amazing interim pastor, an older man who was sweet, and was one of the best teachers that I have ever listened to.  The new pastor has been here for about three-ish years.

He is funny, and speaks to relevant issues, but barely incorporates anything from scripture that is relevant.  Almost every message is about 20 minutes of Allan riffing about the topic and then 10 minutes of actual content.  Some of the content is insightful, but some is really weak and thrown together.  His goal for the church when he talked about kindness was paying for the person behind you in line at starbucks.  That was it!

Childrens ministry used to be about teaching the kids about the stories, but has morphed through the last year into this big show of entertainment where somehow kids are supposed to be "discipled" and are supposed to learn virtues.  

My older daughter was in the youth ministry which was getting better and better over the past 2 years under some great leadership, but that leader quit.  My daughter and her friends refuse to go back to church as they dismantled a vibrant program after this leader left.

This church has gone from an open and interesting place to a place where the pastor makes you feel like an idiot for not knowing enough bible.  You'll notice that their website treats you like a kid, and the messages feel like they are geared toward a kid.  This church used to feel like a place where i could bring a friend who was not a church attender, but now the music is very churchy and cheesy as is the childrens ministry  and the sermons.  It used to be a welcoming and fun place and now is a depressing and frustrating place.  

[Edited by ChurchRater moderator to remove inappropriate content]

Comments

1

 Yikes!

I've been to this church several times while visiting my parents in town.  While they are not regulars at this church and normally don't go to church, they take me here when I am in town to respect my faith.  

I used to like this church and would visit their service as well as their excellent youth service.  But after this visit, I will never return.

I was here for Christmas eve and for the church service on the next sunday, although I almost didn't return after the awful experience on Christmas eve.  

I always like to go to church with my mom and step dad on Christmas eve, and even though last year's service was pretty weak, this year's was by far the worst Christmas eve experience I have ever endured.  Not only was the music predictable and tired, the entire service was nothing but a commercial for attending the church on a regular basis.  In the drama, video and message, there was nothing meaningful whatsoever.  There was barely even an acknowledgment that it was the celebration of the birth of Jesus.  It was all about some future series that was coming up.  

My parents who don't attend church on a regular basis, said that they would never return after this service.  It was like turning on your tv to a show that you usually enjoy only to have to endure an infomercial.  And even the infomercial was poorly done.  There was this big video that the pastor and staff made a big deal about.  All of the young people were laughing at how dumb it was.  They tried to make it look like a big time movie preview, with a guy with a deep voice and everything, but I could have made the same video on my laptop in an evening myself.  The only people who seemed to be at all into the video were the old people.  Which is another thing that I noticed.  This church is getting much much older.  All of these old people seem to like the pastor, but both in the christmas eve and the next sunday, he seemed like an old silly man in a young man's body.

The whole sermon on Christmas eve was the pastor being so enthusiastic about the sermon series that was starting.  He told all of the men to return the expensive presents that they got for their wives and agree to go to church with them instead, because they were all being dragged there anyway.  I can see why he would think that people are dragged to church, bcause that is the only way I would attend this church again.

The next week was about the Pastor's top 10 mistakes of the year.  So, the Christmas eve was all about self promotion adn the next week was about him talking about himself.  The problem abou the mistake sermon was that they were a bunch of "who cares" type statements.  They were all excuses for him to be goofy and none of them seemed to be heartfelt or in anyway meaningful to him at all.  One of his mistakes was yelling at his kid when his kid opened a door and hit his dad's foot tearing the skin off of it.  I am just thinking: "do you not yell at your kid ever?  and you're mad when you yell when you get injured by your kid?  do you think we should believe that you are the dad of the century who only yells at one kid once a year?" His number one mistake was not reading more books?  Is that really the biggest problem that you have?  Do you even realize that the people in your church swear and drink and smoke and do drugs, that they are in financial difficulties.  

My parents just said: "must be nice to be a rich pastor who doesn't have to worry about money and time commitments."  My parents asked someone who told them that his wife doesn't work and taht they live in a big house.

All I can say is that I am angry and sad. Sad that a good church went bad.  Sad that my parents hardly ever go to church, but when they did, they are now never planning on never coming back.  Angry that I wasted my christmas eve.  I certainly won't waste my time here any more.  I probably won't go to Christmas eve service again anywhere since my parents won't be willing to take me again.  If I did, I have a friend who told me that Foothills baptist is cool.  It's right next to my parents house, I wish I would have taken them there instead.

Thanks psychstudnt for taking the time to talk about your experience.

How did you discover Church Rater?

Would you consider asking your parents to enter into an email dialog with the pastor?

It might be interesting to see if he would respond to their feedback?

Just a thought

1

I did send my thoughts to the pastor in an email to his address as well as to an email where you can ask questions about the church.  I did not get a response.  I also don't want my parents to dwell on this experience, they are "anti church" enough and I really want them to see the good side of things.  So I have not even talked with them about the thought of talking to the pastor.  

Interestingly enough though, they have gone with a couple of friends to a nearby church a few times and have loved it.  Their comment was that it is not so "dumbed down" and was much more friendly than Mountain Park.  

My parents are smart, educated and interesting people.  They want a church that challenges their intellect.  Even though they are in their 50's, they'd rather be around younger people and families and contemporary music.  I am eager to see where they are attending church and visit there.  I'll be sure to rate that church once I attend there a couple of times later this spring and summer when I get a chance to be home with them again.  

You asked where I heard about church rater.  I actually was mad enough about our Christmas experience that once I got back home, I googled "rate my church" or "rate my pastor"  to see where I could post a review of my experience.

 

 

psychstudnt

Nice work

Thanks for trying - I cant imagine why the pastor wouldn't at least be respectful enough to respond even if all he said was that he disagreed with you.

You might be encouraged to know that almost 30 pastors have "discovered" ChurchRater and asked us to send someone to "rate their church" which I think is a very hopeful sign.

I hope you'll rate some other churches in the Phoenix area for ChurchRater and encourage your friends to join in the fun. We are going to begin soliciting video ratings from people so keep your eyes open for that. You have an interesting mix of church experience and open mindedness.

I'm the pastor at this church. I assume it's ok for me to jump in!? I just stumbled upon this dialog this afternoon.

Psychstudt,

My apologies for not responding to your email in Jan. I checked through my files but could not find anything.

Firstly, I'm glad your parents have found a church they are excited to attend. It seems there's one spiritual "groom" but the "bride" looks very different depending on the lighting.

Secondly, I'm actually encouraged by your response to our Christmas Eve celebration! It was precisely our intent to invite people to a more meaningful experience than just an annual visit to church. Faith is obviously important to you or you wouldn't be so passionate about your parents finding a great church. We simply believe that faith takes time to nurture and develop - and one hour per year is a tradition, not a path to faith development.

 

Thank you, Pastor Fuller. Your participation is exactly the kind of thing our site needs. We want dialog around church experiences, which means pastors and other church leaders are--in my opinion--expected to join in. I look forward to seeing more of this conversation.
Matt

I have been attending this church regularly for about 6 months  and would recommend it to Christians who are looking for a church home or non-believers who are genuinely searching to know if God , the Bible and Jesus Christ are real and not myths or crutches for the weak.   This church teaches,  and  preaches the Bible.

This church challenges one to grow in their relationship with Christ by attending church, by reading and studing the Bible, to pray and to be in small groups with others to share life experiences and for accountability.

Worship style is contemporary with praise songs and traditional hymns with a worship band and sometimes choir.  If you think God does not enjoy the praise of his folks with smiling, applause,  and good hearted singing, then attend somewhere else.  God is honored in many different styles and forms of Worship.  Preaching is from the Bible and teaches both the Love of God and the Just nature of God that requires the punishment of our sins. Thankfully God satisfies both through his Son Jesus Christ who took on our sins, paid for them by his shed blood on the cross and offers to us the free gift of Eternal Life through Faith in him and who he his and what he did.  That is the story of the Bible.

If you are looking for a church to attend for 1 hour on Sunday and feel good about satisfying your "religious quotient" or requirement for the week, go somewhere else.  This church and Pastor will challenge and encourage you to do more.  This place is about growing your relationship with Jesus and other folks, not about religion.

But don't take my word for it(or anyone else on this site) come and experince for yourself.

I'm sensing some dis-gruntled former members here!  The church can never be all things to all people.  I've noticed that highly critical church members eventually quit and go somewhere else.  At first, they're all "gung-ho" about their new church, jump in with both feet, burn themselves out and then the fault finding begins there.  It's a pattern and so "consider the source".  We had people in our church leave because we put the Christian and American flags near the front!  Another left because the pastor "read" the prayers and because of that, she concluded that his prayers didn't come from his heart - amazing - simply amazing!

5

I thoroughly enjoy Mtn Park Community Church!  Alan Fuller infuses humor with theology making it a fun ride to a meaningful conclusion. What makes it interesting for me, is that he is unpredictable and I can relate to his take on life and scripture.  Judging by the packed house on most Sunday mornings, this church is doing a lot right.  Marshall Hall is awesome as the music leader. Their emphasis on missions, local and worldwide is impressive.  They give everybody an opportunity to reach out and help their fellow man/woman.  This church suits me fine and my elderly parents enjoy it also.