Meditations (Web)Church

A year (and a bit) in the life of NewSpring's first Web pastor

When Easter is all Greek to me. Part 1

with 3 comments

This was my first Easter as a pastor, and what an Easter it was.

Record attendance of 15,400 at NewSpring’s four campuses — 803 on the Web Campus alone — and 322 people met Jesus, seven of them on the web.

It got me to thinking about the type of Greek Orthodox Easter that I celebrated with my family in North London when I was a kid.

Talk about traditional.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the eastern Orthodox churches make catholic churches look contemporary. Lots of icons, stained glass, incense, robes, an altar that isn’t visible to the congregation.

And everything in a foreign language.

Yes, it really was Greek to me.

The entire service, from the psalms, to the prayers to the homily, were spoken in Ancient Greek.

Easter along with Christmas, just as in the south, were big turnout days for North London’s huge Greek Community. We would wear our Sunday best along with a fixed expression of “solemnity” as we stood and sat (but mostly stood) through two and three hour services that I couldn’t understand a single word of.

Looking back on my path to God, I can’t deny that I felt the tug of the Holy Spirit year after year at those events. But I didn’t have a hope that I would ever hear the power of the gospel for salvation.

I have a great deal of respect for my orthodox cousins, and its theology is well, “orthodox,” but i just can’t understand how you would want to keep good news to yourself.

That has got to break the heart of Jesus.

And if it wasn’t for NewSpring, I’d still be on my Highway to Hell.

So forgive me if I just couldn’t care less about what people think about using a song like that inside a worship service.

God is undeniably moving at NewSpring, and I’m pretty sure that the energy behind the whole of the modern evangelical church movement comes down to two very simple things.

We talk to be understood.

We speak into people’s lives where they are.

That’s it.

Lights. Fancy video. Rock music. Social media. Whatever. In our noisy culture, that just earns us the right to attention and to be heard.

I came to Jesus at NewSpring while reporting a story that started out as an expose on whether NewSpring was really teaching the Bible and “right doctrine” or whether it wasn’t all just entertainment and a personality cult.

So you can see how that turned out for me.

Criticize all you like if you believe that Jesus needs to be harder to get to. You will be answerable to Jesus just as we are.

But you might want to remember Jesus very own words:

49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

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Written by NickCharalambous

April 15, 2009 at 11:35 am

Posted in ruminations

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses

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  1. “I came to Jesus at NewSpring while reporting a story that started out as an expose on whether NewSpring was really teaching the Bible and “right doctrine” or whether it wasn’t all just entertainment and a personality cult.

    So you can see how that turned out for me.”

    I thank God for your story. I’ve told quite a few people about it. It’s a great story and motivation for evangelism. It’s a reminder that everyone that I come in contact with on a daily basis needs Jesus.

    Chris Hill

    April 15, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    • It still boggles my mind too. Amazing.

      ipiphanist

      April 15, 2009 at 4:07 pm

  2. […] I said in this previous post, based on my personal experience, I don’t think the Greek Orthodox Church really believes […]


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