How many of you have attended a different church before your current church?
What often happens is that our first church experience really sets the bar for every other church we ever attend. Most of the time we have the attitude that what our church does is right and anything anyone else ever does is wrong.
I grew up catholic: Very formal, traditional, bow to this, light this candle, do this hand movement, say this prayer, put your hands like this, put your tongue like that, do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around.
Then my family got invited to a “pentecostal church” as it was called in Florida, not the weird no pants for ladies, no make-up stuff – but charismatic, lift your hands, shout, dance, grab a flag, grab a tambourine, do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around. My dad’s boss invited us. It was night and day compared to the catholic church.
The catholic church is an old guy in his bath robe, this church was awesome “soul” dudes on bass guitars with colorful suits and loud music. This was the early 90s so there were lots of brass instruments doing ska type stuff for the fast songs and powerful, moving music for the slow stuff. It was craziness! It wasn’t church – it was something else all together. Then it happened: We were worshiping – which we didn’t understand at all anyway – and people have their hands raised and they are singing loudly and people are crying and this old woman next to my dad gets down on her face in the pew and hugs my dad’s legs. She stayed that way until the very end of the 2 1/2 service. 2 1/2 hours! We were used to a 45 minute mass.
Needless to say, we walked out and vowed never to return… until we did, two weeks later. The Holy Spirit was calling my dad back to that church. The weird, crazy church were people did weird, crazy things. Don’t be confused: the Holy Spirit is weird and crazy and very different compared to this world. There’s a reason it’s called Supernatural… it’s not normal. If church feels like your typical motivational conference, or a regular concert type setting it isn’t church! Church is where God shows up and power and authority collide with natural things causing everything you’ve ever known to be true seem not to be so true anymore.