Before I go further, I must clarify that I did not hallucinate nor did I see a man of Hispanic origin whose name is spelled like our Lord when I went to the grocery store tonight. My wife sent me to the grocery store to pay someone for essential oils (and all the essential oil-using women coo😀). I didn’t realize that a group was having an oil party. I know two of these ladies well, and the host invited me to sit down with them because this grocery store also has a coffee shop inside. I sensed the Lord wanted me to stay, so I did.
God’s word to me for the night was how much more my wife and I need Christian community. Yes, we attend church services. Our current hectic lives leave little room for interaction outside that. I am personally craving the fellowship. Two of the ladies and their husbands have been friends of ours for a few years now. One lady gave me some confirmation I needed.
My automatic response is to avoid grocery stores. I despise them. I am, however, glad I stayed and experienced this divine appointment. For those of you who hate stores as much as I do, slow down enough because God may be telling you to linger so He may speak into your life.
When I am not ministering somewhere, my wife and I typically arrive to the worship service right on time or a few minutes late. With that said, we most often have to get seats in the back because of the size of our family and the fact that most people at our church want to sit closer to the front. It is not your typical church.
After spending over 20 years in church ministry, I can tell you a lot about a church by its singing. I have been in places where funerals have been more lively in comparison. I have attended some places where the “worship” is nothing more than a glorified rock concert where thousands of spectators fill the seats. At our church, I noticed something different. A few weeks ago, I sat on the front row just a few seats down from our pastor. He’s more into it than everyone else (and that really is saying a lot).
As I sat on the front row that day, I could hear voices loudly singing the praises of our God. I enjoyed stopping for a minute just to listen. This is a sign of a worshiping church. The atmosphere was one of bringing an offering of praise and also an expectancy to hear from Heaven. We did both.
Want to test the spiritual temperature of the believers in your church? Measure it by their praise. I’m not necessarily speaking of the quality of the music but the passion of the praise. That may make some people mad, but it is just my observation. You might want to check out and see how the Scripture confirms this. I promise that you will find something.
Many of you know I am in transition once again as I stepped away from the church plant. We returned to our previous place of worship until God sees fit to reassign. Meanwhile, we take open doors to minister as God opens them.
Today, we were at our home church. We walk into the worship center to see long tables with our regular chairs around them. My first thought was, “Pastor Josh is getting ready to fund raise.” Then I saw the communion elements on the table and began to realize what was happening. We were going to partake of the Lord’s Supper around a table in a similar fashion to the way it was done the first time. We sang, we prayed, we partook. It was a beautiful experience. I hugged the pastor and thanked him for the most unconventional service I have ever attended.
I would share the message he preached, but it has not yet been posted. It is so on point that I will share it within the next few days. For now, I will close with a couple of songs that played through my mind as he wrapped up the message.