6.06.2008

well now... that's a first...



Last weekend when I was welcoming our guests from the stage I noticed several new faces. I especially took notice of the young couple in the front row. They were dancing wildly and pumping their fists as they looked up at the screen and tried to sing along. After leading the music for the first few songs I asked everyone to shake hands with a few people and I stepped down to meet this couple. You could smell the alcohol on their breath from about three paces.

They were TRASHED.

They said that they really enjoyed "the show" and told me that they were in church for the first time in years. I realized that they were not used to a worship service and this seemed more like a rock show to them. So they were doing what you do at rock shows. You try to sing along as loud as you can, and you grab someone and dance with them. A few people behind them were distracted but for the most part the congregation didn't seem too put off.
The couple seemed nice enough and sat through the message (with bathroom breaks about every 4-5 minutes). They even sent out an "amen" now and then.

At the end of the message when I got up to lead the closing songs they both looked at me with a smile and you could tell that they had had enough of the talking and were looking forward to "the show" again.

As I went through the first chorus of "How He Loves Us" I opened my eyes for a second and could not believe what I was seeing.

There, in the front row, only three seats away from our senior pastor, the young lady was doing a FULL ON LAP DANCE for her (obviously happy) boyfriend!

About two thirds of our congregation were obliviously worshiping, with hands raised and eyes closed, while the remaining third stood staring, mouths agape, in horror at the spectacle in the front row.

After the end of the service I got the chance to meet up with the couple again. They said, "This is a COOL ASS church!!!", and "There's a really great energy here". I thanked them for their kind words and told them that hopefully the energy they felt was the presence of Jesus. They thanked me again and got a ride home from their designated driver.

I've been thinking about that service all week long. When it comes down to it I guess I'm really glad that they felt welcomed. I'm glad that they felt at ease (a bit too much at ease, but you know what I mean). I'm glad that they felt the "good energy". I'm glad that someone from my church cared enough to reach out to this young couple and bring them to a place where they would be loved and accepted just as they were.

12 comments:

Brett Maxwell said...

that's awesome.

Linda said...

wow.

PuriChristos said...

Wow doesn't even begin to express my thoughts, but there isn't really a better word.

Agent B said...

Nice.

Dean's Blog said...

Jimmy...that has to be one of the funniest stories I've heard in a while. I would have paid to go to church that Sunday. It reminds me of the time I was in Fremont, and we we're singing "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" and an intoxicated homeless gentleman made it to the front row and during the "holy" pause he yelled- THAT SONG REMINDS ME OF MY GIRLFRIEND! Oh how I love these moments!

maventheavenger aka jamie said...

Thanks for sharing, Jimmy. Too funny!

Dan Price said...

http://mondaymorninginsight.com/index.php/site/comments/meat_market_ministry_two_signs_of_a_healthy_church_are_sexual_immorality_an/

funny. But cool too in a way.

John said...

Wow...that's a story for the grandkids...

Jan said...

that is too, too funny. I have seen many funny things from the stage but not that......people kissing, yes, a lap dance, thankfully not. I'm not sure I could have kept singing. at all. Did you feel a bit frozen?

I did sing through a guy fainting and being carried out one time. That was interesting. I didn't know whether to stop or not and I hadn't been leading worship long so we just kept going......and prayed he hadn't died!!!

tyler said...

haha, WOW!

jimmy said...

I was shocked, but not frozen. I quickly had everyone stand to their feet, so that the only people who would be able to see what was going on were the people in the immediate vicinity. The people standing directly behind them acted as a sort of human shield for the rest of the congregation.

I've heard of people dying in a service... now THAT'S a boring sermon...

I've actually been in a service where someone accidentally pulled the trigger on a pepper spray cannister. It literally emptied out the ENTIRE auditorium within minutes! We finished the message out in the parking lot!

Okiecowboy said...

LOL that was a great story. Isn't it crazy some of the stories you get from Church? I found it great that no one really pointed them out or made them feel uncomfortable. You never know when there may be angels unaware.