21May, 2009

The concert.

“I don’t want boring religion God. I want You.”

There was a mosh pit. There was loud, heavy music. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

As I walked back to our booth at the Brian Welch concert a few nights ago, I heard him singing over and over again, “I don’t want boring religion God. I want You.” Those words struck me. It’s the anthem of the broken, the hurting, the bored, the lost—those in need of life-transformation. But it’s not religion that’s going to get them there. It’s God.

I was deeply moved as I stood in the crowd looking around at a group of believers singing/screaming, “You’re washed by the blood”, and cheering as Welch told his story of how he came out of a destructive lifestyle into the arms of his Heavenly Father. These means of worship—the metal, the screaming, the head-banging–were foreign to me. I was actually skeptical about the whole thing. That was, until I was there, experiencing God move in that place. These were people who had been redeemed just as I have been. But the group wasn’t subscribing to conventional “religion” as we know it. It wasn’t a Bible Study, or a worship service on a Sunday morning with 5 songs and words on the screen. It was raw worship. They’ve experienced God, and they were moved enough to scream about it. As Brian said, they “won’t shut up about it” because of all God has done.

Overall, it was just encouraging to see something that was different. It kind of brought a new meaning to the words “sing to the Lord a new song”. It gave me chills to see Brian reaching out to his fans to share with them who God was, sans the traditional church service and “walking down the aisle”. God was there, and it was in no way boring.

Amazing.

-Shay