Crossroads Christian Worship Centre recently updated their “Glossary of Worship” to include “Christ-Inspired Crowd Surfing” earlier this week. This comes in addition to the already Church-sanctioned practices of “Holy Fist Pumping,” “Spirit-Filled Moshing,” and “Righteous Lighter Waving.”
“I just… I just feel so burdened, deep down in my heart of hearts for those that need to express God’s love by jumping into crowds of other worshippers,” says Brady Greene, Pastor of Spirituality and Praise at CCWC. “You know, there’s got to be a reason that raising your hands is a requirement for praising God. I think the reason is so that you can catch your brothers and sisters who are so filled with love from the God above that they climb onto the stage and jump off.”
When asked about a Biblical source for this new “act of worship,” Greene cited King David. “Man, my brothers and sisters are just trying to really get close to God, like, physically. They’re Spirit-filled, right? And so they climb up the tallest thing they can find to try to get closer to God, and then at the top they kind of get ‘slain in the Spirit,’ like what Benny Hinn does, but like, for real.”
CCWC is also considering playing secular music before and after church services in order to be “even more seeker friendly.” Musical acts under consideration for “worship warm up” and “faithy farewell” are Coldplay, The Postal Service, and Jack Johnson. Another consideration being reviewed by the church’s board of directors is the construction of taller speaker towers or even diving platforms for crowd surfing purposes, to be used during worship sessions which are called “Praise Parties.”
Some of CCWC’s staff disagree with Greene’s approach to praise and worship. “I disagree with his approach to praise and worship,” said Mark Livingston, CCWC’s legal counsel, who successfully campaigned last year to have all crosses removed from the Church campus to avoid discrimination lawsuits. “Physical injury is practically guaranteed. I told [Brady] that he couldn’t do the crowd surfing thing, and he just kept staring at me with his eyes squinted. He literally has no idea what risk management is. How are we supposed to market CCWC as the place to be if people are leaving every Sunday with whiplash?”
Other members just don’t think it’s enough. We talked with Susie Winthrop, an occasional visitor to CCWC. “I sometimes have ‘worship’ in my basement that involves some ‘herbs’ and some ‘souvenirs’ and some ‘getting blazed’ with the guidance of our spiritual shaman, Bob Marley. Greene should get in on that,” she said, lightly laughing intermittently and using air quotations throughout her statement.
“We just really have a passion for the lost,” says Greene emotively over a cup of free-trade coffee from a locally owned cafe. “These aren’t people that feel comfortable in those, you know, old stuffy sorts of churches. These are the kinds of people that feel comfortable at a rock and roll show. They grew up partying and rocking out, and we’re going to give them a Church experience that really jives with that vibe that they’re used to rolling with. Know what I’m saying?” Before we could ask for a clarification (we didn’t know what he was saying) his iPhone rang loudly with a U2 ringtone, and our interview was concluded.
For more information on CCWC and their worship practices, see Relevant Magazine’s upcoming article : CCWC, Prosperity or Progression? A Theosocioanthropological Discussion with Donald Miller.