Aldersgate Men

Sunday, May 07, 2006

"Hav'n Church"

If you have ever known church goin, Bible believ'n black folks then you will be familiar with the phrase "hav'n church". "Hav'n church" should never be confused with just going to a church service.

"Hav'n church" is when your church service becomes a "Holy Ghost" party - a jubilant celebration of all His blessings - no matter what you may be going through at the time. It's a pure form of worship. If you want to really experience such worship - you need to be willing to invite the Holy Spirit and you need to forget about all that you left behind when you darkened the door of the church with your sorry self! You must put aside all the things that bind you, all the stumbling blocks such as pride, worry, insecurity, fear and most of all - your schedule.

Back in the day - in high school - i used to skip the regimented,stuffy, gilded, and stoic church of my parents and on occasion i would attend Ebenezer Full-Gospel Baptist church. It was a humble little church in a bad neighborhood on the wrong side of the tracks. But, being an athlete in racially mixed school - i had many good friends in "that" community. One such friend was Daryl Frazier who's father, Rev Piphious Frazier III would bring-it strong...and we would "have church". After church, (which was over when it was over - maybe noon, maybe 2:00pm) we usually had a big pot-luck dinner. I was always treated as a special guest - all the deaconess' of the church would make sure that i got extra ribs, potato salad, baked beans....whatever - i even discovered that i liked collard greens and chitterlings! I would get home around 4 or 5pm with a full spirit and a full belly too! I remember being a bit uncomfortable over how these people - who were so very poor, always gave me so much and asked nothing in return - they always seemed so glad that i was there worshiping with them! I could never quite figure-it-out...it din't make any sence... all i knew was that i felt the love of Christ more amongst them, than i ever did with the people in my own church. It always struck me how the most precious thing in their lives was the church - not the church building mind-you, but THE church. (not unlike our brothers and sisters in Krichev i might add) Ahh good times...good times indeed! Those were the days....

Fast forward 16 years - my son Lance needs to visit the church service another denomination to fulfill his confirmation requirement. I decide to introduce Lance to the same experience i had when i was just a little older than him.

A member of my staff, and a lady whom i consider a very close friend and a sister-in-Christ is a member of church in downtown Harrisburg - similar to the one i frequented of my youth. She sings in the choir and is active in the church and she has invited me several times - so i used this opportunity to take her-up on her offer.

I tried to warn Lance what he was "in for". I told him as we went-in around 10:30 that he wouldnt necesarilly be out within an hour...noon or 12:30 maybe??? He didnt like the sound of that at all. He was also more than a little nervous about being one of two white folks in the church. He was peppering me with a zillion questions as we walked-in. Not knowing for sure what was in store - i told him it would be "different".

To make a long story short - as we were leaving the church....at 1:45 i asked Lance what he thought about it. He said it was "totally awesome" and he wanted to know when we could go back! I'm stunned - but happy.

I'm not sure what point i'm trying to make here...except perhaps we should take the choke collar of a set schedule off of our pastor and let him have free reign to move as The Spirit moves. Perhaps we are afraid to let-go...you never know, things just might get wierd! What will "people" say?

I wasn't there but i am pretty sure the early church preachers didnt have to keep their message to under 20 minutes...or else!? We can't allow that can we? No way man - we have places to go and people to see and schedules to keep!! So - if God wants to speak to us through our Pastor - he better darn well figure-out how to get it done within our schedule! Amen? Also - he better not say anything that convicts us...makes us feel uncomfortable or makes us feel like we need to repent of anything...dont bring-up Satan either, thats just "out there".

Maybe we need to stop going to church and start "hav'n church" instead - it's good for your soul.

2 Comments:

Blogger Behr Whitewash said...

Awesome.. I've always had the desire to attend a church like that.

Maybe we can ask Mark to dismiss everyone "with other priorities" at 12, then we can go on with the service..

Next time you go, let me know, I might join you..

12:08 PM  
Blogger bob redding said...

man I wanna hav church!

1:48 PM  

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