This week the motley crew, better know as the Kingdom Bloggers, are going to write about their church, worship style and things that are meaningful to them about the corporate gathering. Some of us are regular members, and others are on a mission to find a new form of fellowship - but we all look to regular gatherings of believers.
I would call myself a God chaser; I don't care about denominations, worship styles or any other religious trappings. In a nutshell: I'm a caffeine fueled reformer, a believer in Christ, a bit radical, a lot non-conformist, definitely a sushi-eating, rock music loving warrior of the King. For those reasons, I engage God in a variety of ways which may be different than the average believer. I confess, I am not very social at church, although I do enjoy people. Worship for me is time to get alone with God - seems strange to me too.
So what's it like where I fellowship on a regular basis? First, I don't know if 200 people is a big church, or a small church. I have belonged to home-churches as well as larger churches - maybe 750 members. We don't have mega-churches in New England, so I have only attended services at a couple; one is Connecticut and one in Florida.
I went on the men's retreat with the guy who is the greeter at the door. I look forward to a hug or two in the lobby (no holy kisses - but this is New England!). I get there early because I never know how long the service is going to be. Some Sundays it is an hour or so, others 2 or more. Hopefully is depends on God. (1 Cor 14) Because I have an hours drive, I pray as I listen to soaking music. When I run out of words, I just let the spirit say whatever it wants too. I am pretty pumped by the time I get there.
I often get to hear the worship team practice, say hello to whoever is there, and stand by the door to see what God wants to do with me and a new face. Sure we have great music, and really good preaching, but we also stop for prayer, call folks up for healing and pray for them, and to bring revelation to individuals and the church as a body.
You may watch a service HERE. But you'll only see a small percentage of what God is doing. You won't see people praying for others in the hallway, you won't see friendships being forged at a table in the cafe. You won't hear all the testimonies of healing that went on during the week, or the lives that are change with the inner healing and deliverance ministries; there is just not enough time. Nope, and you won't hear the phone calls or see the emails, texts and Facebook messages that take place in a single day between the brethren. Why? Because Sunday morning is a celebration of Jesus, and the rest of the week is actually church where believers care for one another in various ways.
My favorite part of church is personal ministry - the ministry that I am called to. I get to church expecting to love on someone, to share a word of knowledge or prophecy, a hug, a listening ear, or a prayer for healing. As a believer, it is my job to show up with something to offer, not just depend on the pastor and worship team to lay it all out for me.
It doesn't matter what the style of worship music or preaching is, it matters what good works the Lord has laid out in advance for me to walk into.
Here is a testimony that changed my life completely - in fact it was a message from God for me. I quit doing all the things I was good at and held out for opportunities to hear God and do it. (It's well worth it to listen to the first 2:55)
How about you, do you go to church expecting to be who God has made you and give, or just receive?