So I went to my husbands church...
He plays music there during the worship service. He's been going for a couple of years and I've never been with him up until recently. From what he had told me about the church, it just seemed a little too out there for my personal taste, so I was never really interested in going there.
It's a small, non denominational church with only about maybe 40 members, and I had always grown up going to very traditional baptist churches so it's just very different from what I'm used to. However, I decided to give it a shot a couple of months ago and all of the people there are actually very welcoming and friendly. The preacher and his wife are especially welcoming and they really do a great job of making new members feel like they're right at home. They even decided to throw a baby shower for my husband and I next month, which I thought was really nice of them.
The thing about this church that makes them different is that they are very laid back and free spirited. During the music part of the service, a lot of people will dance, clap, lift their hands in the air, etc… Personally, this isn't my thing. I'm a very reserved, quiet person so I wouldn't normally be comfortable with doing things like that. I wasn’t really bothered by the fact that other people were doing it though. I figured everyone has their own way of worshiping so I tried not to judge.
Well, last Sunday during worship, a random church member walked up and got on the microphone. This is something else that's very unique about this church. They pretty much let anyone come up and speak. They believe that if one of the church members feels compelled to share something with the rest of the church, they don't believe in inhibiting them. So this lady gets up there while the band is playing, and basically shouts out that she feels some people there are worshipping “half heartedly” or something along those lines and that everybody needs to be giving it their all and everyone needs to be “on fire”! Pretty much what I got from her message was that she was trying to get the more reserved people in the audience, such as myself, to get up and show more enthusiasm. I also happened to bring my mom with me on this particular Sunday, and she is a lot like myself. She's pretty reserved so she doesn't get into the whole dancing/clapping thing.
It made me feel very uncomfortable when this lady was saying all of this, because I felt like she was speaking to me and my mom felt the same way. Now don't get me wrong, if someday I feel the need to dance and put my hands in the air, I will. But I'm not going to do it just because I feel like someone else wants me to…. And I don't think God would want me to do it just because someone tells me to. I think he wants us to do it only if we feel it in our hearts. I think it's very judgemental to assume that just because someone isn't outwardly expressing themselves, that means that they're not worshiping properly. Some people just don't express their emotions as freely as others. There's no way that you can know what that person feels in their heart. I may not sing out loud or clap my hands, but I'm singing in my heart and I'm listening to the words in the song. I don't judge people that do choose to be more expressive during worship, so I don't feel I should be judged for my lack of expression.
What do you think? Would you have been uncomfortable? I want to give this church a chance, I just think they need to have a little more structure. Like for one, not letting just anybody and everybody get on the microphone. You take a big risk by doing this because you don't know what this person is going to say or if it's going to run off some of your members. I told my husband that this bothered me and he pretty much said just don't worry about it because if that’s what the lady’s intentions were, then she is obviously just too concerned about other people. I agree but it's kind of hard to not worry about it when you're in the moment and you feel like you're being put on the spot or that someone is trying to make you feel less than them just because you worship differently. I guess I'm just looking for suggestions as to how I can not let stuff like this bother me as much.