Jesus Values Fun: So throw a party!

August 17, 2013

PullGod'sFinger

Does that just seem wrong to you? Maybe you grew up in a church tradition that emphasized reverence for God over celebration for what God has done. At New Life we try to balance the two. We have a long history of having fun in everything we do. Yes, God is awesome. He deserves our reverence. But He’s also the author of fun and games.

From our earliest first Fall Fun Fests (the picture on the left is from our 2000 FFF) to the Texas Roadhouse Family Night next Monday night we love getting out our “toys” and giving our community a reason to celebrate. Why? Is it just because we like having fun? Partly. But it’s also because we believe it honors God and draws people to Him.

2000 Fall Fun Fest NLCC 002

Think about it. Lots of churches do serious well. And that’s great. God is great and we should respect and honor that. But at New Life we believe God is also a god of fun and joy. Not a superficial I’m gonna smile just because I’m supposed to kind of happiness, but a real deep down life is hard but I know I’m loved by God and it’s gonna be okay kind of joy that allows us to take confidence in the future.

Throughout the Old Testament we see God over and over telling the Israelites to throw a party. They saved up all year long for the various holidays and festivals. They did this to celebrate what God had done. To proclaim to their children and to those around them that God is great and has done great things. By celebrating God’s provision and work in their lives they were reminded that it’s not about them… it’s about Him. That God is who we should thank for our blessings. That God is bigger than our struggles. That He has and will overcome our enemies.

We still believe this to be true today. And on top of that, family fun activities and having fun in our church services are a safe way for people outside the church to feel comfortable. Not sure what we mean by “safe” in this context? See our earlier blog on that. By having fun we help people “uncross” their arms. Imagine someone coming to church for the very first time. They have their defenses up. They’ve heard all the stories. They want us to “prove” we are a safe place. Then the minister cracks a joke or a funny video plays and without even being aware they’ve uncrossed their arms, leaned back a little more into their chair, and opened themselves to hear what God has to say to them.

So next time someone says something funny here at New Life, don’t be afraid to laugh out loud. They probably meant it on purpose. And even if they didn’t, it’s okay, we love laughter!

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