There are lots of different kinds of energy. I believe the most valuable energy is incarnational - human energy - the kind that comes when people get together to celebrate a common cause.
For 10 years my son and I were season ticket holders for the New York Mets. The Mets were good back then. It was immediately after they had won the World Series. The energy at Shea Stadium was unlike any other sports arena atmosphere I have ever experienced. New Yorkers do know how to be expressive!
My home church (I won't say which one) was not known for its energy. Everyone was dressed in his or her Sunday finest and clearly the clothes were all too tight, because every last person had a sour expression. I was always waiting for something interesting to happen, anything really. I'll never forget the Sunday evening when the bottom of the pew in front of us gave way and three teenage girls hit the floor with a thud. Now there was some energy.
When I used to travel the country speaking and it was my first time at a church, I tried to guess what the energy would be like. If it was a church with multiple Sunday services, you could be pretty sure the early 8:00 AM service would be as dead as a doornail. The 9:30 service would have tons of energy, and the 11:00 service seemed to be attended by people who all had a hangover.
Highlands Church in Denver, one of our three parent churches, is unique. Their 9:00 AM service is often one of the least expressive audiences I've ever experienced for a congregation that is so strong and vibrant. The 10:30 service, on the other hand, is always full of energy. The last time I preached there, in September of 2017, the 9:00 AM service was very energetic. I think it threw me off my game.
While I absolutely love the building in which Left Hand Church meets, it does not lend itself to automatic expressions of great energy. As an older church building, everyone seems a bit afraid to let loose and enjoy themselves. We've been working on that, however, and all summer long you can feel the energy expanding in the room.
You all are arriving with a sense of expectation that the music will lead you to worship, the sermon will encourage you to think and feel, and the overall atmosphere will be something worth celebrating. I love it when a culture is born!
Aaron's energetic preparation, Jen's ever present welcome, Heatherlyn's spirit and grace, and my bumbling words which cause me to think, "Did I say that out loud?" all combine to let everyone know we're having fun. I can't wait for next Saturday.
Your Pastor of Preaching and Worship