The Charismatic Experience

This past Sunday morning, I attended a worship service at a local charismatic church in the area where we are currently living. From previous experiences, I knew a little of what to expect. Here are some of my experiences at this particular church.

  • A warm, welcoming environment.
    From the moment that I pulled into the parking lot, I was welcomed with open arms. There was a gentleman at the entrance that was friendly and helpful in finding a place. I was warmly greeted at the door by a few people who helped me find my way around. This was something that made the experience start off very well.

  • Vibrant worship through songs.
    This was a part of the experience that I assumed would be there. There was a praise band that led in songs with high energy. There was clapping, jumping, and hands lifted high. There seemed to be a joy and excitement present that was amazing. Contrary to what many may think, there was no "jumping of pews and speaking in weird languages." The scene was very similar to what might be seen in any typical youth worship service.

  • Creativity.
    From the stage decorations to the videos shown to the presentation of the sermon, creativity was at every corner. A great deal of time, effort, and money had been put into creating an environment that pushed the message of the day. I thought this was well done and that mission was accomplished.

  • Conflicting message in the sermon.
    I know that this "denomination" has been labelled as one that is weak in theology, especially in sermons. As stated in my previous post, it is impossible to lump all charismatic churches into one fold by this experience. But this particular time, from the onset of the sermon, they walked a very fine line theologically. During the sermon, the pastor was talking about renewing our minds through the Word. He made it a point to say that it was not just "positive thinking", but many times, he made it out to be just that. Also I felt that while the service was warm, it put limiting qualities on God and made it more about "us."

  • This experience, for the most part, was a good one. It did remind me that there needs to be an intentional focus on the Word of God and to make sure that it is presented correctly and clearly. It's not enough to have neat sets and warm environments. If the truth of God's Word isn't clearly presented and celebrated, then we've missed the boat.


    pk said...

    Amen on all points!