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Why do people run in Pentecostal services?
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Post Why do people run in Pentecostal services? Rafael D Martinez
My mother's earliest memories of a Pentecostal service she was taken to, she remembers people running. One of my first and most indelible ones was of an old man running laps in a Charismatic church in Jacksonville way back in 1981 at a rather sedate time of worship. Since then, I've always noted it. It happens quite frequently at South Cleveland COG.

This is not a thread I've created to bash the practice. Postmodernists on a campaign to call for its suppression are not what I want to hear from.

I can and have, in the Spirit, shouted, wept, raised hands, been slain, laid hands, anointed with oil, knelt, spake in tongues, prophesied and even interpreted tongues, discerned spirits, etc. I have walked during times of worship and intercession .. but never run. Guess maybe walking is leading up to running, but I've never gone that far. The only running I do is at the Y three times a week and maybe the Greenway now and then, but not in what I think is supposed to be an act of worship. I just have never felt "the release" to take off.

Maybe I'm answering my question, but I'd like to hear views on why people run in church .. and uh, respectful ones? thanks ..


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3/5/11 8:42 am


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Post Eddie Robbins
It just gets all over you and you can't stand still. You have to try and shake it off, but it doesn't work. You can try to out-run it, but it just follows you. It's all over me and it's keeping me alive.

Seriously....and not to hijack, but I don't get the neck jerk either.

This would be a great opportunity for those who do these things to explain what is going on. I promise not to ridicule or make fun of you. I am serious. I want to know, like Raf, what is going on. Being raised as a PK, I have seen lots of stuff. Some of it funny, some of it miraculous.

One of my favorite lines from Andre Crouch back in the day:

"Oh, they call us holy rollers and what they say is true. But, if they knew what we were rolling about, they would be rolling too."
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Post 2ndgeneration
I think it is an expression of their joy and excitement just like jumping, dancing, twirling, etc. I am not a runner though I have a couple of times. However, I do jump and even dance. It is my expression of Praise along with raising my hands.

While many prefer a more sedate expression of worship I still like an exhuberant, exciting, outburst of celebration that is known among most classical pentecostals.

This has been somewhat of a hallmark among us even from the beginning of our movement though some may take it to the extreme. You will always have that.

Thanks for posting the picture. I love to see corporate expressions of Praise.


Last edited by 2ndgeneration on 3/5/11 9:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post Rafael D Martinez
Eddie Robbins wrote:
It just gets all over you and you can't stand still. You have to try and shake it off, but it doesn't work. You can try to out-run it, but it just follows you. It's all over me and it's keeping me alive.

Seriously....and not to hijack, but I don't get the neck jerk either.

This would be a great opportunity for those who do these things to explain what is going on. I promise not to ridicule or make fun of you. I am serious. I want to know, like Raf, what is going on. Being raised as a PK, I have seen lots of stuff. Some of it funny, some of it miraculous.

One of my favorite lines from Andre Crouch back in the day:

"Oh, they call us holy rollers and what they say is true. But, if they knew what we were rolling about, they would be rolling too."


No problem here, Eddie. And as to making fun of it, really, it wouldn't hurt my feelings but it would sure make the poster look pretty small to laugh at something that we hold to be pretty important.

There's a lot of practices that could be discussed here, from the Charismatic banner waving to the usage of tape recorders to record prophecies to good old fashioned firey hot preaching style. I think they originate from the same place within the hearts and minds of Christians.

I have my own rationale but I don't know if it jives with the reality people encounter. Running, etc. is to be done unto God and that's kind of "enough" for me .. I'm just trying to get a grip on it some more and understand the why.

2nd, glad you liked that .. I do like to take such pictures .. These were taken last Sunday as we worshipped before the anointing service. Sorry they're so awful, they were taken from my new el cheapo Samsung Mantra phone that I just bought. If I had my own camera, they'd be better.

In getting ready for my move, I've packed away my entire collection of pictures I've taken since the early 1980's of Pentecostals in worship. I had some of my brother running during a Chicago Metro campmeeting under brother Winegar's tent .. he isn't serving the Lord now, sadly, and such pictures of my family under the power mean much to me.


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Post Eddie Robbins
Quote:
Running, etc. is to be done unto God


Ha!! That's what I do. Loving Him with all my strength!! I ran 5.5 mile without stopping twice this week!! Unto God!!
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Post Carolyn Smith
Raf...is that Herb Winegar you mentioned? He came to my church when I was about 10 years old and have never heard anyone mention him since. Great revival, as I recall.

I don't usually run, and I've told my pastor if he sees me dancing, he will know it is the Lord, cuz I just don't usually do it! But I love to see folks who anointed to do those things express themselves in worship to their God. My daughter Jenny has never been trained professionally to dance, but praise dance/worship/mime is her thing, and it is beautiful to see. She did a praise dance to "Let the Worshippers Arise" last Sunday & someone who is trained in dance/drama on a collegiate level told her that her form was perfect, which amazed my daughter, since she was just doing what came from her heart. (Something she had practiced and worked on and let the Lord show her what to do, mind you, she didn't just get up and do something.)

There's a lady in my church who runs when the Spirit gets on her. Sometimes the Lord impresses her to run a certain number of times. She is an intercessor, and this lady hears from God. I think it is just her way to worship. We know if the music gets pumped up, you'd better make a path, cuz she's coming! I enjoy seeing her worship, and it makes up for the ones standing there like a bump on a pickle. (You see a lot of things from the stage!) As long as the worship is unto the Lord and not out of order, I think it's a great thing!
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Post Bro Bob
Quote:
But I love to see folks who anointed to do those things express themselves in worship to their God.


The key to me here is "express themselves in worship".

I believe it to be fundamental that each person is free to express themselves. Choreography would be another question altogether to me.
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Post Eddie Robbins
Quote:
Choreography would be another question altogether to me.


Why? We do that in other areas of worship. Are we afraid it's not the Holy Ghost? There used to be a time that we made fun of other churches for having a bulletin because we allowed the Holy Ghost to run our services. We didn't have the music planned in advance. Now, we have choir practice. Isn't a Jericho March choreographed? Thoughts??
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Post Carolyn Smith
Bro Bob wrote:
Quote:
But I love to see folks who anointed to do those things express themselves in worship to their God.


The key to me here is "express themselves in worship".

I believe it to be fundamental that each person is free to express themselves. Choreography would be another question altogether to me.


Practicing a praise dance unto God when He shows you what to do in worship to a song is no different than vocally practicing a song.
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Post Bro Bob
This isn't going to be easy for me to express. And I have already got the hair standing up on some necks. And I acknowledge that there is a sizable portion of my brethren (and sisters) who disagree totally.

When our choir practices songs for later use in church services, we are learning the music, or re-acquainting ourselves with it. It is usually a mechanical thing. We aren't thinking about the words as much as we are trying to get the notes and timing right. But sometimes, individuals may be moved into real worship even during practice. Been there.

But we never "practice" worship. If we did, then just like practicing the song, we could just stop at any point, talk about how we want something a little different right here, back up and do it again but with this change. You can't stop worship mid-stream, back up, and get it right. We don't choreograph when this one will raise his hands or that will will shout out "Glory". The personal expression of worship comes from within, and is spontaneous.

The singers on American Idol can sing, and they can even express true emotion while doing it. That is not the same thing as worship.

Other things I cannot practice are:
Speaking in tongues.
Prophesying.
Interpreting tongues.

I know there are some who believe and teach that you practice your "prayer language". I cannot distinguish practicing speaking in tongues from faking speaking in tongues.

I have no problem with our young people practicing a worshipful dance as a visual expression of a message in a song. That is not what I meant by choreography. I meant choreographing worship. Worship comes from within, and it takes many forms of expression. In can happen in a church service like Raphael has shown, or it can happen inside my pickup truck at a red light while Rod Stewart ( of all people) sings "Have I told you lately that I love you?" and my thoughts are towards my maker as I sing along "Have I told you, there's No one else above you?"

I have no inclination to object to any member who breaks and runs or begins to dance, or falls on their face and weeps, so long as it is expression that comes from within them.

I don't know if I have made any sense at all. But this is my best effort to express what is inside me.
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3/5/11 10:41 am


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Post Carolyn Smith
Gotcha, Bro Bob. I agree. I just wouldn't call that choreography. Wink
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Post Bro Bob
Thanks Carolyn, I would not want to offend you.

I guess you could sum up my feelings about worship like this:

Worship is always a private and personal expression between a creature and his creator, even when this expression takes place in public.
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Post Quiet Wyatt
It is an expression of exuberant worship. A person just gets so excited about God or what God has done, is doing, or is going to do, they just feel they will bust if they don't run. It has happened to me only once, but for me it was one of the most intense acts of worship ever. Same thing for dancing in the Spirit. That isn't to say it can't be faked or may not be just fleshly emotionalism.

The roots of this kind of worship actually go back to the Holiness and Revival movements of the 1800s, perhaps even earlier. In my family, we had lots of shoutin Methodists back in the 1800s. They even had instances of what they called "the stammering lip," along with falling under the power, "trances," running, jumping, etc. For my great grandparents, Pentecost was just a natural fit for them when they converted from old-time Methodist to Pentecost back in the early 1900s.

Here is a video of the (non-Pentecostal) Interdenominational Holiness Convention worshipping in a very Pentecostal way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-_r8qW19xQ


Last edited by Quiet Wyatt on 3/5/11 11:59 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post Carolyn Smith
Thanks, Bro. Bob. If worship doesn't come from the heart, it is still dead and meaningless.
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Post Eddie Robbins
It works with our 5ks. I haven't been to North Point in months but I bet if somebody started running it would be because they stole the offering bucket. Acts-pert Poster
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Post Do you have to be in a certain condition to run ? Rafael D Martinez
Carolyn Smith wrote:
Thanks, Bro. Bob. If worship doesn't come from the heart, it is still dead and meaningless.


I have wrestled with this additional question .. and Carolyn, you bring up a good point.

Heart worship comes from, well, the heart of the believer .. that part of their inner man that plumbs the deepest part of their motivation and being.

In Luke 10:26-28, the unrighteous lawyer, seeking to bait Jesus, correctly quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 by stating baldly that we are to love God completely and utterly, with such passion that it also involved the mind itself. The mind involves our rational, critically thinking faculties that often dovetail with our heart itself. Jesus asked him what the Law said and what HE saw it should mean. The lawyer, for all of his ignoble motives, was intellectually honest enough to give a good answer .. that to love God involves one's thought processes, reasoning and judgment also.

So therefore, as much as I often question it, wouldn't it be proper to say that those who rehearse dance steps in church (be they praise dancers who tour or little children playing church in their bedrooms) and do so deliberately and intentionally are seeking to glorify God in such a way?

Does spontaneity in worship have to be the ONLY way we will say something is "God honoring?" I realize there are a lot of people whose performances of dance, shouting, prophesying, etc in church really ARE just religious acts based out of self-centered religious motives .. but certainly, not all of them are. Isn't worship intrinsically something we choose to do and therefore, what we do, are based upon rational choices we do as well? Admittedly we can wonder about someone's motives, but is worship ONLY "worship" if it's completely randomized?

Joy used to joke with me about how when she was at Lee she saw classes there about "creative motion" instead of what they were, being "dance" ones. The concern seemed to be over this question .. and dancing was something that should NOT go on at Lee, God forbid.

The will to run in a church service seems to fit in this line of inquiry, don't you think?

Carolyn, I have a picture of Brother Winegar at one of those campmeetings put up now. I don't know if he's still alive or not, but for years, he brought his tent up to Chicago Metro campmeetings on the grounds in Glen Ellen, and there, in the middle of an upper class neighborhood full of staid, rugged and predominantly Reformed people, in the heart of the Western Suburbs of Chicago, Pentecostals pitched a tent and had church.

Those were among the most formative and happiest days of my youthful Spirit filled life, when my home church was on fire, my family all served God, and nothing seemed impossible.
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Post Carolyn Smith
I heard a minister say once that he was sitting in church, watching a sister "jerk" under the anointing and said to the Lord, "OK, what's that all about?"

He felt like the Lord said to him, "She is feeling so much of My presence that her spirit wants to come and be with Me, but her body won't let her."

You can take that for what it's worth, but I thought it kinda made sense.
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Post Carolyn Smith
Raf, there are different expressions and kinds of worship, as Tom so eloquently pointed out. For me, personally, there are songs that I rehearse and polish until I am ready to sing them in front of others. Most of the songs I sing are worship songs, so I work on the song to get it right, but I have to come to a point where that is laid aside. The mind is prepared, so I must engage the spirit and soul to worship. Sometimes it is the presence of God that comes on me as I sing (something outside myself) and sometimes it is the choice of surrender of myself as I sing that bring the feeling of His presence. Sometimes, quite honestly, I don't feel anything, but because I make the choice to worship, it can still touch those who hear that song or participate in it (praise & worship.) And it's as I sing that I have to consciously choose not to focus on the mind part because it will keep telling me I missed a note or a word or that I messed up. (Does this makes sense?)

In regards to shouting or letting the Spirit move through me, that is often a conscious choice as well. I don't like doing things in church that draw attention to me and sometimes I struggle to obey the Lord if I feel He is wanting to move in a way that I wouldn't necessarily choose. It again becomes a matter of surrender of my will to His. Not that He "makes" me do anything, of course. The spirit of the prophet (worshipper?) is subject to the prophet. (Not trying to add to scripture...but it seems that would fit too.)

I've come to believe that a lot of the Pentecostal worship I saw and experienced in my childhood was based on emotion and feeling. Some of it was Spirit led and some probably was not. Please know I say this respectfully, because I certainly believe in Pentecostal worship. But as I have matured in the Lord, I understand now that it's not just what you feel. Feeling the Lord's presence is the most wonderful feeling in the world. While our emotions are involved in our worship and God uses that, I believe now that it should touch deeper than that as well and involve our spirit. Because if it is only based on our emotion, then often we are not changed by His presence, and walk away from the altar feeling better for the moment but no different.
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Post Quiet Wyatt
Correct link:

Quiet Wyatt wrote:

Here is a video of the (non-Pentecostal) Interdenominational Holiness Convention worshipping in a very Pentecostal way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-_r8qW19xQ


The running starts about the three and a half minute mark, and just takes off from there.

This video, though it is of a non-Pentecostal Holiness group, has some interesting CoG connections. The song is by the Vep Ellis, and Union Bible College is in Westfield, Indiana. I wonder if the school property has any connection to Tomlinson or his family.
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Post I liked the running the benches! Cojak
Most churches my dad pastored in the 40-50's era had a bench walker. I loved that. I would go out and practice in the church, just incase God told me to do it. I got pretty good at it, but God never asked me to.

One church it was rough, because the benches weren't fastened down and the balance had to be just right. It would have been okay if folks were sitting in them. Laughing Laughing Laughing

I agree with those who say it is an expression of joy that cannot be contained and needs an outlet. Cool

What happened to the bench runners/walkers??? Confused
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