We belong to The Vineyard Church in Rockville Centre which we affectionately call “Rock ‘n Roll Church.” It’s where Brian and Mike made their first Holy Communion several years ago. Sunday services include a 30-minute worship, or music segment, in which the alter serves as a stage and the church is transformed into a Christian rock arena of sorts. Fabulous musicians on keyboards and drums compliment the blending of electric, bass, and acoustic guitars with beautiful voices. When the music finishes, the Pastor takes the stage, pulling together readings, quotes, and teachings from the bible and other Christian writing in support of a theme addressing a modern day challenge we can all relate to. To say we LOVE it is an understatement. The music definitely draws us in. We show up for the music and stay for the message. My Young Men always choose to sit in the first few pews so they have an unobstructed view of the musicians. The giant screen above the “stage” generally has a peaceful nature scene behind streaming lyrics. My Dudes air drum as they sing along boldly–their monotone voices almost harmonizing. [Almost.] It’s a beautiful sight to see and sound to hear.
Then, when the music ends, they close their eyes and bow their heads in prayer, applaud the band as they leave the “stage,” and quickly say, “Mom, we’re going to the bathroom.”
So, that’s not unusual in itself. They tend to check out bathrooms when we’re out and about and pretty much everywhere we go. But, this bathroom run has been an ongoing thing with them.
One Sunday, I’m lingering after services, talking to fellow members, and occasionally scanning the room for Brian and Mike… Keeping tabs as every mother I know would do. I silently note they are sitting in the back of the church with a big group of… Vineyard MUSICIANS! When I walk back to collect my Young Men, the church’s musically inclined collective share bro-hugs, fist bumps, and hug-hugs, calling My Young Men by name and parting with, “We’ll see you next week.”
Of course, I inquire, “So Guys, how do you know ALL of the musicians?” Brian answers matter-of-factly, “Mom, they’re my friends.” Laughing, one of the musicians responds, “Oh, they come and hang out with us in Ray’s office every week after worship.” Turns out, the bathroom run was an excuse. My Dudes are Vineyard Groupies! Every Sunday they have been going “backstage” to hang out with the music-makers.
Music is a BIG part of who they are, and what they love. It’s a full-time, lifelong pastime.