Mosh Pit


Howdy from Hot-lanta, and when I say “Hotlanta”, I hope you are not sensing any trendy connotation, because I am simply alluding to the miserably hot weather we have had around here as of late. Wow. I didn’t think that a city could get hotter than Houston, but Atlanta is a tough competitor right now. Since newlyweds don’t have a bunch of extra money to spend on cranking up the air conditioning, I have been sleeping with my hair wet to keep me cooler at night! It almost works, y’all!

So, yesterday I got to experience something that I am sure I will not soon forget. Colin and I headed out to go and listen to a good friend of ours preach at the youth service at his church. He is the youth pastor there and since they have a sizable youth group, they have a completely separate worship service. They even have their own building. We walked in and saw a familiar sight- a dark room with bright lights and kids jumping up and down. They actually had formed a mosh pit of sorts in front of the worship band, which was itself composed of students in the youth group.

It was amazing what happened as I made my way to my seat. I began to shut down. Even though it was only seven or eight years ago that I would have easily found myself in their exact positions, I quickly became one of the dreaded frozen chosen. What a bizarre and devastating feeling. All of the sudden I was a spectator in this youth service rather than being a participant. I even began to critique all that I was surrounded by, surveying our younger generation’s heartbeat for Christ to discern whether it was authentic or not. I suppose the older we get, the more power we think we have to take our place in the judgment seat…I had to remind myself that I will never be old enough for that position, for that throne is reserved for none other than the Ancient of Days. In my shame, I thought to myself, “So this is how this happens…this is how one becomes one of the frozen and cynical chosen…and I’m only 25, I’m so doomed.”

Well, I am so glad that I went yesterday to this youth service because I left with conviction, encouragement, and exhortation. After my friend preached a solid sermon out of the book of Esther no less, he exhorted the students to seize the moment to pursue the purpose God had for each of them in such a time as this. He then asked several of the students to make their way to the front to give their testimonies about what God had been doing in their lives.

And then it happened…I was awestruck. A girl, clearly unacquainted with southern church jargon began to describe her recent experience with Jesus Christ. She described herself as feeling completely ecstatic, almost bubbling over with life. She was so overjoyed that she couldn’t even put it into words. She said, “I think about Him (Jesus Christ) all of the time…every second, I just can’t stop thinking about Him. And I am just so tired of being a person that I don’t want to be!”

There it was: trans-generational truth. You see, she was still trying to emotionally recover from the almost too phenomenal realization that Jesus Christ can really change the jacked up person she knows she is in her heart. And I pray that she never does recover from this divine reality. Too many of us do.

Worship styles and preferences change pretty quickly but our need remains the same. Our need for God and the hope that He instills in our hearts, it translates to every generation. I am so glad that students around the world are worshipping God, meeting together and exhorting one another and praising God together in their own contexts. I am so glad that they continue to follow hard after God in spite of frozen chosen adults like me who stand in the crowd with their arms folded, because I think they are doing exactly what Paul exhorted Timothy to do. They aren’t letting people like me look down on them because of their youthfulness, but rather in their speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, they are showing themselves to be examples (1 Tim. 4.12). I am even more thankful that these students have leaders like my friend Jamie who gives his life to point students upward to acknowledge the supremacy of Christ.

Praise God for a younger generation of students who are showing themselves to be worthy examples to some of us who allow our hearts to get a little bit too hard. I am so privileged to be associated with them in Christ. I, too, like my young new sister in Christ am so tired of being someone I don’t want to be. I am so glad that we know that the solution is in Christ. It is for this that she and I will continue to labor and strive, because we both have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men” (1 Tim. 4.10). Well, perhaps I’ll even join the mosh pit with her next time. Okay, so maybe I won’t bodily join the mosh pit, but I will be there in spirit!

Cheers to the only Wise God, the Lord Jesus Christ who gives us hope, and the Holy Spirit who empowers us!


128 Responses to “Mosh Pit”

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  1. 101
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa, thank you so much for sharing your blessed, teachable experience! Our youth also have a very similar type of worship service at our church. What a joy and blessing that we have a church big enough to hold approximately 250 in attendance! We all need to be led by the Holy Spirit when we witness or testify what we see, hear and how we respond. Be encourage, Melissa! God is not finished with us yet!!! Be especially in prayer for the youth workers, that they would be genuine , obediant, and submissive to the Spirit’s leading as they work with the youth. God Bless and love you all!

  2. 102
    Lianne in Alabama says:

    I know how you felt! I was a chaperone at a Winter Jam event and was soooooo excited to see Mandisa perform…and then came Skillet. I don’t know if any of you Siestas have heard their music, but let’s just say it didn’t speak to me. I am amazed at how God’s Word can be conveyed sometimes. The kids from our youth group loved them and were on fire for God after listening to Skillet. I, on the other hand, was deaf.

    Love from smoking hot Bama,

    P.S. Melissa–Any particular reason you dropped “Fitzpatrick” from your signature? I’ve been married 9 years on Thursday and still occasionally forget my married name! LOL

  3. 103
    beyond this moment says:

    Amen Melissa. Thank you for being God’s voice today.

    It is soo easy to look at how other people worship and judge their hearts by their outward appearance. And so shameful since haven’t we ALL (whether moshing, clapping or sitting quietly), at one time or another, come to worship with our hearts in the wrong place?

    My dad never opened his mouth to sing a single word of a single song in church. He was the most reserved “worshipper” you could ever meet – but dear heavens he was excited about God!!

    And, umm… maybe I shouldn’t mention it was a lovely 65 degrees here yesterday? =)

  4. 104
    villagesister says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with the Siesta that courageousy shared that she may be labeled “old fashioned” but preferred her family to worship together as a family on Sunday mornings.
    Having my son & husband on either side of me each Sunday morning is precious time for us. My teenager and I BOTH love to “rock out” with Jesus from time to time, but he nor I would trade our traditional, conservative Southern Baptist Sunday worship together for anything.

    There is “Mosh Pit” worship and there is more reverent worship. Both can be relevent. While we’re one now, we may be the other later. And I believe either “side” at times looks in judgement on the other – both are guilty.
    God’s Word tells us to both respect the elderly and to encourage the youth. May we all treat each other with a balance of love & respect and give our youth both roots & wings in Jesus’ name.

    Sign me a… “Relevent Relic”. 🙂

    Blessings & Love~

  5. 105
    De Anna Morris says:

    Melissa, thanks for your post. I am the mother of three teenaged boys who like, I mean really like, their hair long, their black-metal band t-shirts, and really heavy metal music. Two of my boys are musicians…drums and electric guitar. They play music by other bands as well as their own…

    Because of their appearance, they get a few “looks” that are perfectly reflective of what some are thinking.

    However, I have never known or met any more godly, Word loving, faith-sharing, encouraging young men in all of my life. I know they are my sons (and I have a right to be a little biased) but I am serious…If only I had known guys like them when I was their age, I may have made wiser decisions in regard to boy-girl relationships.

    An example from just last night…my middle son who is 16 next week, told me that he had broken up with his girlfriend because lust and tempting thoughts were becoming too frequent and he knew that did not please God. So he broke up with her so he could devoted his thought life to the LORD instead….WOW!!! I told him I was proud of his honesty and his wisdom to make a wise choice before his thought life led him to make reality decisions that could hurt his walk and possibly altar the path God has chosen for Him….I was just so impressed by his witness to me….

    Thanks again for sharing…our youth need our love, acceptance, and approval…like the kind that Christ gives us…instead of our judgmental condemnation….

  6. 106
    ~Meli~ says:

    Wow… the frozen chosen. Help us, Lord!

  7. 107
    ocean mommy says:

    Amen to the hotness of atlanta and DOUBLE AMEN to the meat of this post!

    Have a great day…

  8. 108
    Kathy (In Arkansas) says:

    Hey Melissa,

    I am really “hating” you at the moment, you are young, beuatiful, intelligent, cook but what I “hate” most is that you can go to bed with your hair wet!

    Mine would be a frizzy wave in the morning. I must shampoo, condition heavy, use leave in products, blow dry, one leave in product, flat iron, and one final wax to smooth the fly aways! Oh to go natural!

    Mosh Pit, sounds interesting but I’m honest in saying although I think they should have their own time they need not be seperated from the rest of the body in Christ during worship. Have two worship times for them.

    It’s been hot and humid in Arkansas but yesterday we had rain and it cooled off but I’m betting humidity returns with a vengance today.

    Let’s all cheer for a lazy hazy summer, I’m hopint that’s what it will be but looking at my calendar I dont’ see that happening. Enjoy your new home, explore the great city

  9. 109
    Bridgette says:

    I have a teenage son, who is in the praise band at church. He is so laidback, even when he plays the guitar, I sometimes think, Can you just get into it a little more?
    I guess what I’m trying to say is, I wish my son would join the Mosh Pit! There is not actually a mosh pit at our church but I want him to be excited and to know that Christ is real! Most kids think of God as far away. They don’t quite “get it”. And sometimes, they are there because of the fun. I think my son and my nephew went to church the other day to check out girls! But at least they are checking them out at church! I try not to worry to much, because my son and my nephew are great kids and often do the right thing. I remember as a youth, we went to church where the”older” people did not like us too much. We ended up leaving after about a year, and I quit going to church until I was saved as an adult. But in my heart, I could hear God talking to me, trying to get my attention. I have often wanted to contact the youth minister that we had back then and let him know, that what he tried to teach us, did stick! He and his wife worked so hard, and they loved us and taught us. But the church did not approve. They didn’t like the NIV version of the Bible and they sure didn’t like that we were listening to PETRA! I try to remember that even though I went astray for awhile, they had planted seeds in my life and after many years of God nurturing that seed, it began to sprout and I realized what I had been missing all those years. I pray that I will keep it real in my own life and that my kids will know He is real and that God is with them, not just up in the clouds somewhere. I pray that we will join the MOSH PIT and be excited about Him! Thank you so much for reminding me to let my youth, be his own person. Even if he not crazy like his Momma, and he’s a little laidback, doesn’t mean he doesn’t “get it”!

  10. 110
    roselawyer says:

    Melissa, I continue to be impressed by your writing skills and your Christ-like wisdom. If it is God’s will for you, I hope that He lead you to write your own book in the future.

  11. 111
    Hadassah says:

    What strikes me about this whole issue is that there needs to be a lot of grace in both directions. The younger, mosh pit crowd needs to respect and learn from the older generations, even if they don’t think they are “cool” or “relevant.” And the older generations need to engage with the younger ones and help them to understand why some, not all, traditions are worth keeping.

    I hate to see centuries of the richness of church thrown out the window because its considered outdated. The church is supposed to be intergenerational, not the young mosh pit crowd over here, and the boring blue haired ladies over there. But the only way that is going to happen is if there if a great deal of grace going in BOTH directions.

  12. 112
    Andreea says:

    This was awesome…as usual. Btw, I thought about you last night when I watched the the weatehr and our weatehr person talked about Hotlanta.:)

  13. 113
    Candy says:

    This cheered my soul to hear of these kids praising God on their own terms. That is so good!! I wish I’d been there! And I’m 52! Sometimes I get all “judgmenty” because the kids at our church won’t let go and worship with abandon. In fact, most times I’m like that. (Forgive me Father!) I feel like we’ve put little harnesses on them and that disturbs me so deeply. And to hear this young woman tell how she can hardly contain herself – that is what I want for our kids. In fact, I’m going to read that to them tonight as they congregate at my house for our first high school girls night out. What perfect timing. Thank you Melissa.

  14. 114
    bee4real says:

    Greetings from a Hotlanta Siesta!!! And our a/c is on the fritz, hahaha!
    I took my teenage daughter and a friend to visit a new to us “mosh pit” youth group. I Struggled with the same feelings but the message was good. We go to one of the largest churches and the youth group has the dark “cool” place but it is ALWAYS salvation messages. I am all for saving the lost! But feed the sheep! (WHeres the meat?) Before the heat gets them!
    Also at that group that we visited… there was a side wall towards the back that had couples putting hands all over each other! THe make-out wall I guess! My feelings shot out of control. “Where are the Adults??? Why aren’t they doing something??” I couldn’t focus on anything else…as a visitor that was fustrating.
    Still looking for the right place for her to connect.

  15. 115
    Rose says:

    Melissa, great word, i work with teens at my church (not my plan ALL GOD’s), but let me tell you, I’ve fallen in love with them!! This ministered to me! Also, on the ‘hot’ bills issue, get a fan, not celiing we have those, but we bought a small fan and you don’t know what difference that makes in the room pointed towards you when you’re sleeping or working on the computer!

  16. 116
    Elizabeth says:

    Melissa, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and had to read, digest and reread over a 24 hour period. One of the biggest challenges we can face as Christians is to move out of our own regular, comfortable zone of worship and try something different. I believe the Holy Spirit will illuminate or convict us through that experience.

    Sunday I spent the morning at a church for the homeless. The congregation was asked who memorized a verse that week and who would be willing to share. My head immediately bobbed down in shame. Thankfully it didn’t stay that way as I would have missed the 6 homeless souls who came forward to share, one fella tried 3x before he could get the entire Psalm out, what they had committed to memory that week. What a blessing to me personally and a challenge. While those men and women wander the streets with concerns including shelter, food, safety, hygiene, transportation, employment they manage to place God’s word firmly in their hearts and mind. While my concerns pale, with a capital P, in comparison I could only recall a fraction of my Sunday School text for the children that morning.

    Girls, follow Melissa’s lead and look for something new and different and see how diverse the Body of Christ truly is and receive a glimpse of the unity of eternity for those who love and serve the the Son of Man.


  17. 117
    Mommy Dot Com says:

    I rejoice with you over this young woman. May the Lord continue to pour out His Spirit in Hotlanta. May every generation, young and old alike, be filled with Him, so they can shine like a city on a hill.

  18. 118
    Anonymous says:


    I agree wholeheartedly with how you were feeling at the Mosh Pit. I would’ve shut down too.

    I know I’m kind of going on a rant here, but I really feel that because our culture today is so accepting of so many things, I can’t help but feel like it’s really carrying over into the Chrisitian community as well.

    It’s all about “no judgement” and “do whatever you want” and everyone has to just be okay with it. I don’t feel that’s completely right.

    I believe that God gave each of us a certain amount of discernment within us when it comes to these kinds of things.
    If you didn’t feel comfortable at the Mosh Pit, I don’t feel that you needed to be chastising yourself about it.
    That feeling may have been the Holy Spirit’s discernment within you.

    I agree that people have many different styles of worship, but what I don’t agree with is that ALL of them are okay. I honestly feel like moshing is just another form of partying and just saying that we’re “praisin’ the Lord” to cover it up. To me, I don’t find that style of worship to be respectful at all.
    I feel that sometimes in certain situations people use that term to excuse everything they do.

    It sounds like the rest of the evening was a nice time, though!

    I agree with everything you were saying about Christ being the Ultimate Judge.

    I’m also not just trying to pick on the youth of today, but rather just trying to make the point that I don’t feel that it makes you a “Chosen Frozen” just because you don’t feel totally comfortable in certain situations. I think it’s good to have that level of discernment within us, and I don’t believe that it necessarily makes us judgemental or critical of others. We don’t have to be totally accepting of everything just to prove that we’re not the “Chosen Frozen”. Know what I mean?
    I don’t feel that you needed to feel bad about feeling the way you did in this case.

    Love and God’s Blessings,

  19. 119
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa…you are so wise and so right! I found myself looking at the youth in our church who didn’t do worship the way I did and thought they were being irreverent.

    So…I decided that I need to get back in touch with the youth. I started attending the youth service on Wednesday nights once a month. (I did this when my own kids were part of the youth group to stay up with what they were being taught.) Then I started volunteering to serve at youth functions. All I can say is WOW!! The enthusiasm and passion that these kids have for the Lord makes MY style of worship border on irreverent! They LOVE Jesus and what He has done in their lives. And they are not afraid to let others know it!

    So…”judge not lest ye be judged” really hit home with me. I’m not saying that every church should have a “mosh pit,” but we do need to be careful about being “frozen” to a spot where we fail to accept others because they look, act, worship differently than ourselves. Thanks for the reminder!

    Jaye in MN

  20. 120
    Emily says:

    Amen, sister!

    I’m 25, too, and I teach (now) junior girls in the youth at our church. They keep me young and help me to remember how desperately I was in need of my Savior when I found him at 14. They are not yet so tainted by the expectations of this world that they hesitate to dance – and even mosh – for them. What a breath of fresh air the generation right behind us is! 🙂

    Glad God let you catch a glimpse….

  21. 121
    Kate says:

    Wow! I was JUST discussing this same thing with my girlfriend on Sunday over veggies & cheese. She attended the revival going on in Florida and had the same issues; and I went to … well, church…my church no less. We talked about our need to press into God no matter what is going on around us. It’s not always easy!

    Thanks for the great post…what an encouragement!

  22. 122
    Anonymous says:

    I have been thinking about this post so much and have been reading about the life of Paul and his journey which has been so inspiring. I can find myself having a bitter heart toward God’s people who grew up in a Christian home. One who knows the scripture front to back and is quick to give scriptural advice. I was born a Jew and a Gentile. Although I didn’t know the difference and never knew about God. I didn’t come to know Christ until the end of high school. My relationship is based on God’s divine love and mercy. I came to know Christ by blind faith. I have such a love for Him because if it wasn’t for Him coming at the exact time he came in my life I wouldn’t be here today. Being in youth was difficult because the entire youth group was pastor’s kids and youth pastor’s and deacon’s kids. I felt like an outcast and kids can be kids and say hurtful things. So for along time I felt that I wasn’t good enough for his Love because I didn’t know his WORD. Going to a church that pushes so much on being able to quote scripture was a struggle for me. They would ask how I came to know Him and I would tell them and they would question my salvation because I could not tell you anything about scripture. All I could tell you was that God spoke to me as if he was in the room that day and He said it was not my time to Go that he had bigger plans if I just be patient and trust. He said that he would never leave me. That he would be here yesterday, today, and tomorrow. (I was crying and I did open my eye and look around because I swore someone was there with me. But no one was there.)

    Ephesians 3:14-19 comes to mind. This prayer speaks to me on so many levels and I am encouraged to go and spread the Good News.

    P.S. Now years have passed and I no longer feel unworthy. I am encouraged by those who know him differently than I do and love learning his truth by reading and studying His word.

  23. 123
    Lisa Pierre says:

    Here’s some mosh pit worship music to dig: “Deluge” by Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge with Jonathan Stockstill….

  24. 124
    Debate Knight Kevin says:

    WE ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GOD ROCKS!!!!!!

    IN HIM,
    p.s. your friend jamie smells(but we love him still)

  25. 125
    Anonymous says:

    Wow, Melissa! Way to lay it out there! About 4 years ago, we left our church of over 15 years – so sad! But the church was filled with “frozen chosen” who couldn’t see that Christ could be worshipped through contemporary music as well as traditional hymns. This church had such a unique way of presenting the gospel. A change in worship – or just an openness to accept the way others worship – could have opened the door for so many to hear the Truth. The “frozen chosen” still have not understood the impact they could have had for Christ’s sake had they just thawed out enough to do a little something different now & then. Praise God for those who are willing to be different & just do what God puts on their hearts! And many prayers for those who allow ‘traditions of men’ to keep them frozen. Thanks for the wonderful post! Dawn in Chatt, TN

  26. 126
    Jolinda says:

    Amen & Amen! Mother of three! Age 20,18,14! My prayer is for them to be on fire for Jesus!
    1 Peter 1:6-8

    “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kind of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire– may be proven genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”

  27. 127
    Clarissa says:

    I’m starting to the dread the term “Chosen Frozen”, because everyone makes it sound so negative.
    I must confess that I am one of the “Chosen Frozen” that is being spoken about. I come from a very reserved church background. It’s taken me a while to get used to seeing people show outward displays of worship at different church events that I’ve gone to.
    Today, the outward display doesn’t bother me in the least (God has done some serious work in me about this over the past year or so!) but with that said, I find that I don’t feel all that comfortable doing so myself during worship. I am a song leader, so I am up front at lot at church. There’s this feeling in me that I don’t want to draw attention to myself, because I know that if I did so at our church, that’s exactly the kind of result I would get. Everyone would notice, and begin to wonder where that was coming from. I don’t want that to be the focus. Does that make sense to anyone?
    While I believe that most people feel that they’re just answering the call to total abandonment in Christ, it’s just not something I feel comfortable doing myself at this point. That’s not to say that I’m not giving Christ full access to my heart. Maybe someday He’ll want me to express myself in a more outward fashion, but right now I just don’t feel that calling.
    With that said, I’d like to point out that I don’t believe that this makes me a passionless person who isn’t excited about Christ. For this reason I find myself resenting the label of “Chosen Frozen”, because I feel that it implies that we’re unfeeling, unoving, unexpressive people, and that’s just not true. I don’t believe that Christ looks at us and says “it has to be all or nothing” in terms of our styles of worship. It doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other.
    It’s not right for us to criticize people because they’re not outwardly expressive in their style of worship, and vice versa. In previous years I have struggled with doubting the sincerity of those who show outward displays in worship, much to my own shame.
    To the BeyondThisMoment girl, THANK YOU for what you said!! What you were saying about your Dad being really reserved (like mine is!) in church made total sense to me.
    I think the natural tendency is to automatically think that reserved people are passionless or not excited enough about Christ, but I don’t believe that that is an accurate assessment.
    It’s more about the condition of the heart than anything. And one other thing that I want to kind of point out…. all this talk about worshipping Christ on our OWN terms, isn’t it more important to be focusing on worshipping Him on HIS terms??? What I mean is, I believe Christ is more touched by the sincerity of our hearts, and not so much the outward appearance of worship.
    I think we all need to take our focus off of ourselves. We need to quit looking around at what everyone else is doing and just focus on worshipping the Lord in whatever appropriate style He’s given us. Amen???
    I also really appreciated what VillageSister had to say about worshipping side by side with your family (not in separate worship services), as well as some other anonymous people as well! I’m only 25, but I feel that I could call myself a “Relevant Relic” as well! I feel like I have an old soul compared to some others my age would would join in with mosh pits and stuff like that. It’s just not my style, and I think that’s fine.
    All that aside, what really matters the most is that we worship the same Heavenly Father who loves ALL OF US!

    Your Sister in Christ,
    Clarissa Matson

  28. 128
    JennyBC says:


    anyof us who have visited soemthing that is not our own church have fallen into the pit of judgement. i can only remember the first time i went to a youth service…very much like you expressed. my arms were folded and my heart was closed; until i heard the testimony of a changed heart. then i remembered that my fervent prayer for my own children is that they be further along in their faith than their broken, sinful mom. now, i too, rejoice when i see a crazy outburst for JESUS that is coupled with an awe and reverence for power, love, and transformation that is only HIS. i long for my heart to be abandoned to HIM and sometimes a good dose of freedom be it in the mosh pit or in room full of prayer warriors facedown before Him is a great thing.

    Living in the river;

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