Monday, November 10, 2008

The Church Hoppers

Yesterday at church, Pastor told us about this group called Church Hoppers that go around to Church's un-announced and check things out. No one at NVMC knew that they visited our church a few months back. At NVMC, we know we have a good thing, but it is nice to hear it from someone who has no ties to NVMC. At NVMC, we are a church for people like you, so come and see!! Consider yourself invited.

Check out this great blog at noefool...


Here are some of the things they wrote. Check out article here.

The Church Hoppers
Music, marriage and a mosh pit

There was a lot going on in New Vision Ministry Center’s sanctuary.

Robotic lights pivoted on shiny metal trusses that hung over the stage. Huge woofers pumped out Gospel-infused rock while lyrics flashed on video screens.

But the Church Hoppers’ overwhelming first impression of the church was people. Folks were crammed into the modified gym up to the rafters, filling the room with expectation. It felt like a rock show. As the band played, the under-18 crowd surged forward to stand in front. Simple worship choruses flashed on the screen: I want to jump higher than before … I want to shout louder than before … I want to worship deeper than before … I wasn’t sure what jumping and shouting had to do with God, but it sure got the congregation energized as — yes — they actually bounced and screamed. In the midst of the passion and intensity, something happened to Zach. He tried to explain later: “I felt a Presence that I haven’t experienced in church since I was a kid,” he said. “It was actually kind of scary, like ‘I shouldn’t be enjoying it this much.’ I was clapping; I was feeling it … and yet I was really at peace with myself.” My skeptical side figures Zach’s experience was the product of music and emotions. But my Christian-idealist side hopes maybe he was sensing the presence of God.

The wedding in worship
I grew up in a conservative church where worship songs came from the hymnal and the preacher was in no danger of succumbing to excitement. So I’ve always been suspicious of Bible-thumping holy rollers. Yet I’m not completely cynical. Somewhere inside, I wish I could find as much faith in God’s power, as much passion for Jesus as they have at New Vision. There, it seems like anything could happen on a Sunday morning. Yes, I mean anything. Halfway through the service, Pastor David Boggs explained that a couple in the church wanted to get married, but they couldn’t afford the ceremony. So he conducted a wedding in the middle of worship, with a thousand cheering parishioners as wedding guests. “I sure didn’t see it coming!” said Zach later. “But hey, it’s celebration, and we’re all here anyway. It was really nice of the pastor to do it.” I actually choked up as I watched this couple exchange vows in the middle of a Sunday service. Boggs went on to preach from Romans 12:2, where the Apostle Paul instructs his readers to let God’s wisdom reshape their thinking. “Don’t look like the world; don’t act like the world — it’s messed up,” said Boggs. “We’ve got to learn to make decisions with the mind of Christ. There’s no addiction, there’s no boyfriend … there’s no job, there’s no financial problem, there’s no spiritual problem that Christ can’t conquer … I want this church to mature to the place where we all have the mind of God.” The pastor challenged his flock to renounce their sins, then move forward with the conviction that God would bring blessings as they followed him.

God may not bring “explosive growth” to the members’ mutual funds, but perhaps that’s not the big idea. Their passionate convictions might still help them through hard times — even a recession.

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