Are You Down with G-O-D?!

I woke up late this past Sunday morning. Well, I was awake, but a shower seemed like a taxing event… so I took my time getting up. By the time I straggled into my closet to pick out clothes, I had realized three things:

1) I was going to have to go to the traditional service at church, which requires dressing up.
2) I was stubbornly, illogically unwilling to dress up (think a two year old that does NOT want to wear shoes. Yep, you’ve got it now)
3) I don’t even like the service I was about to drive half an hour to attend.

Then, there was a moment of decision. I had heard of a church close to my house that offers a contemporary service at EVERY service. Twice on Sunday and once on Saturday night. I could easily make it to said church with time to spare. And I could wear jeans. Score. I was in.

The parking lot of Not My Church was slammed when I pulled in. Immediately, I noticed the teenagers. There were teenagers everywhere, all decked out in their American Eagle Sunday wear. Some were holding hands. Some were giggling and chatting in small groups. Others were being herded into the sanctuary by their parents. The parents seemed involved, connected with their kids. In fact, there was an overwhelming sense of family togetherness at this church. That’s nice, right?

Upon entering the sanctuary of Not My Church, I was hit with the realization that this was a high production event. Not My Church wasn’t just offering God; they were going to offer a God EXPERIENCE. Two enormous screens on either side of the stage presented Bible verses and a countdown until the service. Yes, a countdown. Stage lights faded colors and patterns in and out. An iron cross held up by chains was above the stage.

I consider myself a progressive person. Especially theologically. But I was beginning to realize that there are certain aspects of a more traditional church experience that I embrace.

And then the rock band started jamming out for Jesus. A. rock. band. And the music minister did almost the equivalent of an alter call, on his knees, guitar still in hand. Then, more rocking out for the Lord.

At this point, I feel like I am in the twilight zone. Or, rather, I feel like I have been transported into the church service I dreamed of in high school. Or right on to the set of Saved. Either way, I am uncomfortable. But the folks around me are loving it. Hands raised, voices lifted. When the pastor says, “Let’s let God increase, while we decrease,” they respond with a hearty “Amen.” They are, in fact, having the God Experience that Not My Church offers. And God bless them for it.

Me, I will be back at my church this Sunday. I will get my happy little self up early; I will put on my good jeans, and I will head out to the early service. I believe God can reach anyone, anywhere. And He knows where He can reach me this Sunday.

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