May 17, 2011
by Brenda Harmon on Monday, May 16, 2011
Your eyes fell on this and your curiosity was peaked? (at least I hope it was) Maybe God has a purpose in your eyes falling on this post right now. Just hear me out, OK? Here’s my story and I’m putting it out there because if it makes a positive difference in your life, I’ll shout it from the rooftops. Yes, I love you this much: Yesterday at Out of the Box Worship Center, our Pastor, Ronnie Collins said he thinks the B.H.A.G. (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for us was to add 100 new members this year. This is a HUGE thing-it means that (at least!!) 100 people will come to experience the love of God through our church. Here’s where it hit me: I want one of them to be you. No, now wait! I’ll tell you why: I believe with my whole heart it will change your life like it changed mine and my family’s.
Late last year, I was about as lost and as far away from God as you can get–I was hurting, and I was hurting those that loved me. I had juuuuust about given up. On everything. My walk with Christ had just stopped. God couldn’t love me-not after everything. My friend April Iroler kept asking me-begging me–nope–literally hopping up and down and telling me I HAD TO come to Out of the Box. (To get the full effect of that you have to know my April!) “Oh, boy–Another church, I thought–I don’t even belong in a church.” (Sound familiar?) But April was DOGGIN’ me–day after day-every chance she got. So Kerry and I decided that we would go-and our lives changed forever. I can’t do anything but tell you I will forever believe that my family was led to Out of the Box Worship Center–and if we hadn’t been….let’s just say I’m not sure where we would be right now. I think you might be feeling led there too. Maybe you’ve been curious about all my posts. So I’m going to try my best to describe what I see and what you’ll see when you come. No…I didn’t say if. I said WHEN. ;)
It’s so laid back-it’s in a former store on Main St. in Hillsville, so it doesn’t hit you with the formalized “church” feel. Don’t get me wrong-to me any church is a wonderful church, but for some that’s a big deal because for whatever reason, they may not be comfortable in that formal setting. Plus there’s no “dress code”. Jeans are fine. Throw on your flip flops–it’s fine. I have even heard that some may from time to time wear gorilla suits, and that’s not a problem either! The point is you’ll BE THERE. From the literal second we hit that door on day one, this church wrapped itself around us-and by that I mean the people. From Gator who opened the door for us, smiling, and happy, and welcoming us, to those like “Miss Patti” (Oh how Casey loves her!) who hugged us and welcomed us, offering us coffee and our kids snacks, then the walk back through the little corridor into the “sanctuary” of sorts, it was like coming home to me. I never once felt uneasy, or judged. The sign said it: “No perfect people allowed” Great! I was IN!! All up for this!!
Then the music started. It’s music and songs you would hear on Spirit FM but more. There are guitars, drums, keyboards-an entire band and you literally get a free concert every week. The music just lifts you up–I have never been to a church and felt completely comfortable clapping, or raising my hands in worship–here, I can’t help it–some Sundays I jump up and down, especially during Oh Happy Day just to embarrass Alex, but that’s another story(I can get him to clap now, and sometimes I catch him air-drumming with Ray–SUPER excited to see Alex get excited!–Casey is in love with Laura’s “sparkley guitar”)–sometimes we do hand motions to the songs, like yesterday-sometimes people are dancing around in the aisles–the point here is the JOY of the Lord is Jumpin’ in that place!–but you will feel the Holy Spirit move through and around you and through this building during Praise and Worship–it’s contagious. Downright infectious. There is such a joy that radiates from the smiles and the faces of all the members of The Praise Team, and it just envelops you–the emotion that Jay pours into the lyrics that speak to your heart–you cannot help but raise your hands and praise our God!
Then there are the messages–Pastor Ronnie–had never met the man before Out of the Box Worship Center, but this is a man who truly loves the Lord and has a fire BLAZING in his heart to win people to Christ, share God’s radical love for us and give us tools and armor every week for our personal walks but also pulling us together as a team. He challenges you to literally get “OUT OF YOUR BOX” I never leave out of there on Sunday thinking about what I’m going to do next or what’s for lunch–my mind is firing on all cylinders and thinking about what I just heard–and I process it all week. Sometimes we stay for both services–ask Kerry–one Sunday I had worked in the nursery for the 9AM service–I didn’t get to hear the sermon and didn’t even want to wait for it to be online so half way back to Woodlawn we wheeled it around and went for the second service! Plus, there are Life Groups–meetings during the week to keep you plugged in. From “Soul Food” to “Crazy Love” to “Experiencing God”–ASK ME ABOUT THEM!!! The people I have met there have been placed in my life by God for very specific purposes (from art to armor!) and I thank God for each one of them–we are all on this journey and learning together and they are my family hence forth and forever more. Plain and Simple.
Here’s where I come back to you. I want YOU to experience all that–the contagious life-changing raging love of God that is radiating from Out of the Box Worship Center. I believe with everything in me that what you see, hear, and experience there will change you and then you will want to share it with everyone you meet. I want each and every one of you–if you don’t have a church, if you’ve never been to church, or if you’ve been and got turned off by it–PLEASE give Out of the Box Worship Center a shot. You may think you don’t need a church. But I’m tellin’ ya–in this world, there is nothing that can compare to the love you feel from those gathered with you in worshiping our Savior that makes the Love of God come to life and be tangible. It changes how you see the world–you will exit that building with new eyes. If you have questions about it, comment or send me a message. Call me. Maybe you’ve been feeling lost too–maybe this is a way out of that. Just DON’T be feelin’ like you have to be alone, or that there’s no way God would want you in His house. He does!! He’s jumping up and down like April Iroler because He loves you that much! There’s a love and a support in this church that God used to pierce my heart and I thank God for it. I don’t want one person feeling like I did a few months ago and had off and on for years. EVER. For that matter, if you don’t wanna talk about church but just need someone to talk to, I’m always here. Just think about it all, and holler at me. I’m a message or call away. OOTBWC is on Main St. in Hillsville, across from the diner and old courthouse. 9 and 1030 services Love ya! ~B
I am excited about God changing and IMPACTING lives and wanted to share this with the world.