Bethel Church and the church I visited in Las Vegas really encourage taking communion with other believers. They focus on the fact that the breaking of bread and taking the wine is meant to be a family-affair. I love love that.
My parent’s taught me the greatest part of church is after the service. We were always the last family to leave the building. Usually the custodian had to kick us out the door. The sweetest part of communion is the people after the praise. That’s a tangible gift from the Lord and his Spirit helps you to love people in deeper ways than You ever imagined possible.
At Hill Chapel, the “breaking of bread” or the meals after the service were just as important as the service. I know this is the heart of God.
That’s what I love so much about worship in African American churches. It’s not so much a private thing you do, closing your eyes only with you and Jesus. It’s a family thing. I can worship alone in my prayer closet, but there is something so powerful about “saints coming together in one accord” and lifting high the name of Jesus together. Even when you are having a “personal moment” with God in church, a whole swarm of woman will come to your comfort and give you tissues and hugs. You are not alone. We are often the answer to other’s prayers.
No one pretends like the person standing next to you isn’t there.
I love when humanity is not lost in worship. I don’t feel comfortable when worship become an overly spiritual thing and people stop being people. I love when laughter, realness and raw emotion are presented before the Lord. It’s okay to break form and laugh or make a joke or comment. That’s where I feel home when I worship God.
When I was a young girl, on a Sunday night service, two of our pastors and one lady were very much enjoying the manifold presence of God. It was so fun. one of my “spiritual fathers, Bob Thomas sat right in front of them in one of those blue chairs and watched and laughed. There was no jealousy of “wanting it for himself.” He had me sit down and watch with him, enjoying seeing what he Lord was doing in someone else’s life . That is one of my clearest memories from my childhood at WCUMC. For that reason, I don’t like to close my eyes when I am with other believers. I love to watch and enjoy other’s enjoy God. I mean gawking at someone when they are in a personal moment is one thing, but sometimes I think believers place too much taboo on experiencing God together. I love to be there connected with other hearts in the deepest way possible, fully myself while stepping into his throne room. And honestly, I have a very hard time worshiping if I don’t feel fully connected with the people around me. I have to feel the unity of the spirit to even step into a place of praise.