I attend what is known as a "Mega" church. There are many cool things about this church, called Southland Christian, and then the flip side is that there are also some unsatisfactory things. But, right now, I feel like concentrating on the good things. In particular, the "practicality" of the Christian preaching.
Being Catholic, (once a Catholic, always a Catholic no matter what, unless you are ex-communicated) I was astonished the first time I attended services at Southland. I could not comprehend all the singing! It went on and on and on. My Catholic experience with singing consisted of opening and closing my mouth in the pretense of singing. After all, my father was one of the song leaders.
Attending services for six years with Joe, I have come to understand that to sing is another way to worship and praise God. And this Southland Christain Church can really raise the roof!
The new Senior Minister has an Evangelical background. He is not your typical bible thumper. He is 29 years old and totally gifted and able to lead a church of over 8,000. His approach is aimed more at the heart and soul than fear of hell and damnation.
By going to this church, I have experienced a type of spiritual awakening. And it has been brought on by something so simple as learning how to pray from my heart and then to be still and listen for God.
It is amazing when and where He responds.
Several years ago I was going through a rough period where I had felt betrayed and was terribly hurt. I was unable to give it up and move on. Consequently, it was effecting different areas of my life.
One late morning, I dedcided to go to the noon Mass at Christ the King. No reason, just wanted to go when the idea popped into my head.
The old Jesuit came out and began the Mass with a prayer. It went something like this:
"I don't know why I feel compelled to say this, but we must all learn to forgive our enemies. As Jesus did, we must invite them to our table. Remember and realize that God loves us all, each and every one. Forgivness is his most important message."
God has spoken to me many times through this Jesuit. But, most the time, He is less obvious.