Aug 18, 2008

Is That Who I Think It Is??

Some people have issues with going to a big church. I used to be one of those people, actually.

"It's like going to a conference every Sunday!" I'd say.

"I'm just not cut out for a mega-church," I thought. Well, as usual, the Lord took another opportunity prove me dead wrong.

Because now He's showing me just how much He really can bless my socks off through a living part of the Body called a mega-church. We've been members of one in the North Georgia area for a couple of months, have gotten involved in a small Sunday School class, and are loving it.

Now, I want you to back up with me a little bit. Picture me in my van, kids at home asleep as I am heading to the gym in the early morning hours. Very early. This isn't a dream, I actually used to do this. I still go to the gym (sometimes) but it's usually with all the kids in the mid-morning. Whatever.

Anyway, the image is better the way I used to do it: early morning, no kiddos, jamming OUT to "In Christ Alone" by Travis Cottrell. Loud. This version of this song (it's on the Alive Forever CD) is one of the most perfect worship songs ever written, I think. I had heard the song before, even sang it at church before, but Travis slows the tempo down...and the lyrics just POP.

The first time I heard it was at the Women of Faith conference in Atlanta last year. Beth Moore was the guest speaker for the Friday afternoon session, and she has Travis Cottrell lead worship for her. I can totally understand why. A.MA.ZING.

Yesterday, I walked into our Worship Center while the congregation was singing its first song with the choir. I didn't notice anything different, but since we usually sit up front, I noticed that Scott, our regular Minister of Music was leading the orchestra and not the congregation...

Someone else comes from the back of the stage holding the microphone...someone who looks SO familiar...gasp...could it be???

I leaned into my husband's "space" and said, "I think that's Travis Cottrell!"

Travis started to speak, and because I spoke the narrator's part in the Easter musical that he wrote last year, called "3:16", I know his speaking voice probably even better than his singing voice because of the listening CD.

It was when he spoke that I knew I was right. I consciously remember staying very composed, and leaning into my husband's "space" again, I calmly whispered, "It IS Travis Cottrell!"

Then the very second I said that, the very first note of "In Christ Alone" began. Excitement welled up in my soul at the thought of being able to worship collectively with several thousand people with this angelic version of this song!

I remained poised, reverent and still.

My husband said I was acting like I was at a Monkees concert.

Let me just say for the record: No, I most certainly was not.

When it was over, my DH and I, together with our boys and another family of friends were walking out and met up with Travis on his way out. We shook hands and talked on our way out of the Worship Center like we were old friends. I even told him what my DH said, because I'm that secure in that I didn't act like that. Sheesh. But let me say this: he is every bit as cordial and friendly as he seems. What a relief; a celebrity who knows he's still human.

You, my friends, simply must partake of this Divinely inspired song...and turn it up.


Kelsey said...

WOW that is awesome!

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing that song, it's great, we sang it in church a couple of weeks back too, yep - In Christ Alone.

Elouise82 said...

This is one of my favorite songs. It's so hard to find really good worship music these days ... music that has god-focused lyrics and good music, and this is one of the few! What a wonderful way for you to experience it; I'm a fan of small churches myself (personal preference), but I can't imagine what it would be like to sing In Christ Alone with thousands of people! It must have felt like a little glimpse of what heaven will be like!

Angela said...

Beautiful song and message it brings - what an awesome experience too!

Greg C said...

That is an awesome version of that song. I do like the mega-church attmosphere myself. I want to sit up front and sing my heart out I like to get there early and meet people and take my time and rejoice. I love the greet your neighbor part too. However, my family doesn't share my feelings. The prefer to get there at the last minute and sit way in the back. They want to rush out as the last song is being sung so that they can beat the crowd. They would prefer a more formal service where people come in and don't talk with one another. I guess it is just how we were raised. I think church should be a time to rejoice and praise God and my wife feels it is a time quietly reflect and ask for forgiveness. Ok enough gut spilling here. Great post.

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

That is so funny! I still laugh about thinking it was my daughter. (by the way other should see the text I got after she met him.) She was so excited I thought she was my 15 year old dtr.

Love you so much - had to say it though!!!! :-)

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Yeah, ya'll have to understand that abiding branch up there...she read excitement into most everything! She is usually the EMBODIMENT of excitement! ;-)

It's a conspiracy, I tell you!

SarahHub said...

What a great experience! From one mega-churcher to another, it sounds wonderful! And I love that song!

Meg in Tally said...

Who wouldn't be excited seeing someone like Travis in your very own church?!! What was the occasion?

I've only been to conference's in big churches. Our church is big for our town --but I don't think mega would fit it. Being a small church gal I didn't think I would like the 3-morning service church...but I do!

Scarlet O'Kara said...

Just visiting from the Blog Train, but I have to awesome!

MoziEsmé said...

I LOVE that song! We do home church here fairly regularly - since English speaking worships aren't exactly an option every week. And I love YouTube for its ability to lead out in our praise time!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Oh, what fun! That is a great song, for sure. I totally believe you weren't acting like you were worshipping with Davy Jones. Thanks for sharing your moment! And I don't go to a mega-church, but it's way bigger than the one I grew up in. The key is getting connected in small groups. My main one has become my lifeline at times.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Your hubby's comment made me giggle. I am just picturing it...oh, but of course, I totally believe that you were not acting like that. :) Great, great song.

DidiLyn said...

Thank you for posting the song. Worshipped along with it.
I understand the large church thing. But then, there are bene's. You know, like hearing Travis or getting to hear John Piper in person. Pretty darn cool, and I didn't have to wait until Heaven!