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. 1
    Anonymous says:

    His Princess writes

    Melissa –
    You are so great, because you really show your feelings andfor a young women in christ like myself, it can get lonely. So many times I connect with what you share, and I feel, at least, “if Melissa feels like this, I’m not alone.”
    Thank you for your bravery, you compassion and honesty.

    Love and Blessings,
    Molly Summer

    P.S. You also show an illustration of how much fun a girl can have loving christ, I forget this sometimes. Thank You.

  2. 2
    purefire says:


    This post really speaks to me and a situation that happens just yesterday. My 12 year daughter put up a graphic from a Christian metal band as her new wallpaper and I immediately thought it wasn’t “Christian”-enough. Your post reminds me that our expressions of christianity don’t all look the same and I need to be careful that I don’t get “frozen”! I normally embrace all types of music under the christian label, but for some reason, I got all judgmental (and old) and began complaining. Hey, it is a christian band, so what in the world was my problem? Thanks for the reminder to stay “fluid” and not let my faith become frozen.

    I’m counting the days until the Deeper Still conference! I don’t care if it is hot as all get-out! I’m ready for the Word and the Praisin’ that will happen!

  3. 3
    bahead(mimi24) says:

    Melissa, You are sooo wise for 25!! My prayer today (and I am of an entirely different generation than you) is “Oh Lord Jesus, please deliver me from ‘the frozen chosen’ which I too often try to join. It is not my place, job, calling or whatever to judge. Thank You for raising up some really amazing young people.” My beautiful, amazing teenage grandaughters have begun to teach this ol’ Christian just how awesome a God we serve.

  4. 4
    ProverbsWomanWannaBe says:

    I thank you so much for this post. I am right now struggling desparately for an answer to a very awful dilemma. I became a member of a church about a year ago and absolutely love the pastor and his wife. This is a very small church. Too small for me as I am finding out. I am a single mother with 2 small children. The members are all married (not a single or divorced in the bunch) Nonexistent ministries (my child is the only steady one in sunday school) and I am constantly being “watched”. I am frustrated, sad and disheartened. I WANT A MOSH PIT kinda group!!! (Not literally) but I was also curious about “frozen chosen”. I feel like I am being horribly judgmental of others and very selfish, but do I stay in a Church where I am miserable and constantly under the microscope. What do I do? Pray for me and any suggestions from ya’ll darling Siestas…send em my way. I will write the whole story on my blog now w/out names or anything. I would so appreciate ya’ll helping me out and praying for me because I do not want to be “frozen” or judgmental. I want to worship the Most High with power, strength, love, conviction, unhindered and NOT JUDGED!!!! Bless you!!!

  5. 5
    Jacki says:

    My sons youth group just got back from a week long mission trip in Dallas (we attend a chuch in Utah). While there they served with 4 different churches on various projects. As I listened to him talk about the things God was doing in him I was convicted and encouraged to refocus my life on Jesus and what is important. We should never count these young ones out. God is moving and if we will stop and really listen we just might just learn a little from them!

    Love you all, have a blessed Monday.

  6. 6
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing. I too shut down all too often. Lord, please open my heart to your love and let me see you today in all your glory.
    Thank you for the authenticity and freshness of new believers. Please help the new believers in our church to never lose their love for Jesus and their ability to express their love.

  7. 7
    Anonymous says:


  8. 8
    Beth says:

    That, young lady, IS A WORD!

  9. 9
    buzter says:

    Oh Melissa! It is so neat that you shared this experience with us at a time that the youth of our church just returned from Impact Camp and shared in last night’s service the impact it had on all of them. What a touching and encouraging experience to see these kids on fire for God and eager to spread that fire throughout their schools and community!

    Like you, I’ve fallen into the “frozen chosen” category… but PRAISE GOD I can still be moved when I see a group of young people worshipping Him with all of their hearts and in their own energetic ways. May I never discount their committment and sincere desire to be all that God created them to be just because they don’t fit into the mold of our “more dignified” worship services.

    More power to them…. More of God’s perfect power that is!! 🙂

    Blessings to all of you with love,
    Terry 🙂

  10. 10
    Anonymous says:

    I so pray that all the young people will have a chance to know our Lord,so mnay don’t.It is so good to hear of the ones that do.God bless love you all sister in Christ Victoria NC

  11. 11
    moldableme says:


    Thanks for the word, girl! It is timely for me to read this because I live at the Glorieta Conference Center, and we have 900 Centrifuge youth coming in today! Yikes! I have been thinking about what this might be like, and before I can be cynical, God sent me a reminder through your words. Thank you so much!
    I miss Hotlanta like you wouldn’t believe, but after FREEZING out here in New Mexico all winter, I am proud to say it is in the mid-eighties, breezy and no humidity! Praise HIM!

    Love Y’all!
    Holly, NM

    PS I am still trying to find a way to San Antonio! I really want to be there!

  12. 12
    Leslie says:

    I had a similar experience at the last Passion event I volunteered at. All I could think was, “I’m getting old!” (I was 32.) I felt bad about it at first, but then in a way I was grateful because I couldn’t have served the students effectively if I was caught up in a frenzy of emotion. I was there to serve them with prayer and counsel, so I needed that calm and quiet spirit to clearly hear from the Holy Spirit in each interaction. Looking back, it was for the best.

  13. 13
    Melinda says:

    MERCY, girl! You always just get me fired UP!

    Thank you for that Word…Maybe all us “frozen chosen” need a good thaw in Hot-lanta (or you could all just come on down here to Tampa, Flame-ida).

  14. 14
    Outragous grace says:

    Okay…………I am clearly too old. Please tell me what a “Mosh Pit” is? It couldn’t be one of the “Get out of the pit and stay out of the Pits”, Beth writes about but as a reformed pit dweller, Icautiously approach any pit, not wanting to ever receive mail there again. So for “pits” sake, please explain!

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    Hi Princess writes –

    To the “Proverbs woman wanna be”:

    I was raised in the church from birth, but I was also raised by a single mother. She is a mighty woman of GOD who has lived her life honorably as an illustration for me. But she and I have felt that eyeing of those wondering who we were, because we were on our own, like, what might my mom have done to have this happen? I’ve seen women keep there distance, as if we would steal thier men. I’ve seen men be embarrassed to talk to us in fear they might get in trouble. When all we needed was maybe a smile, from anyone.

    But TAKE HOPE, I have also seen men and women in the church embrace us for who we are, honorable, beautiful and SAVED women of GOD, and I believe they have made the difference. I will tell you, the most excrutiating feeling I have ever had, has been being ignored or isolated by christians. But it happens; the LORD is your everything, and your childrens everything. I will pray you find a church that is a bit more “FLUID,” but if that is way off, know that you have fellow believers who have been there and refuse to let the frozen stares of others extinguish the fire of GOD.

    You are loved by GOD and adored as a beautiful and honorable woman of the LORD – REST IN THAT,

    God Bless You,

  16. 16
    Talitha says:

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂 I see this within the church I currently attend. While we may not have a mosh pit, we are trying to examine the purpose of our “traditions.” There are SO many ways to worship the Lord. . .and many ways to bring Him glory! <><

  17. 17
    Tiffany Atwood says:

    Thanks for a great post! I’m sure my grandparents would cringe if they were still alive to see the kind of church I go to (clapping, raising hands, electric guitars in church???) – and yet we worship, serve and love the One True God. He reaches every generation – and He’ll do however He sees fit… even if it’s in a mosh pit!!! Thank you for reminding me that not everyone worships in the way I do, and yet it is no less worship. Your transparency is inspiring, Melissa!

  18. 18
    Susan Murphy says:

    I was sixteen years old when I had my encounter with our Lord and Savior , I was at a David and Giants concert out in New Orleans, La. I was so estatic about the Lord and running down the street screaming Praise You Lord.

    I too have teenagers that I want to judge them and tell them their not holy enough truth be told I let my walk with the Lord get luke warm. But now more because I feel way convicted . I want so much to feel like I felt when I first accepted Him in my Life. I guess you can say life and not being married to a beliver got in the way.

    I love your honesty! I just want to get on my face before the Lord and truly ,truly repent for my arrorgance because my 12 year old daughter is seeking after Him.

    Love to all of my Sister!

  19. 19
    Connie says:

    Thank you for sharing this…your honesty speaks so clearly of how we older Christians expect worship to be ‘done’ only in ways we are comfortable with. Our 21 year old daughter loves to worship the Lord, and heavy metal/hardcore is the style of music that she expresses her love to Him in. Few understand it and even fewer will accept that as valid…the Lord is blessed by her worshipping heart…just as He is blessed by this youth group’s worship of Him!

  20. 20
    Sandee says:

    What is a mosh pit? A bunch of folks mooshed together? And why is it called MOSH?

  21. 21
    Ashley says:

    I have been feeling convicted in this area recently….and this post has furthered that. My husband and I teach a junior high Sunday School class that is really quite small (between 3-10 students each week). So many times I feel myself getting frustrated with them, wondering why they don’t get the gospel, why they don’t pay attention in Sunday School, and why they just make me nuts somedays.

    What God has started to show me, though, is that ten years ago, I was these kids. I was thirteen. I didn’t get the gospel, I didn’t pay attention, and I know I drove people nuts.

    It is by the grace of God that I “got” the gospel, that I started to pay attention, and that the Word of God became real to me. Now I am in an incredible place, a place where I can pray for these students, and I can reach out and share my lives with them, rather than become frustrated with them. May we never try to usurp the judgment seat!

  22. 22
    Anonymous says:

    HOT-ATLANTA is right! We are definitely experiencing record highs!
    I have been working with youth for quite some time now and have watched the generational “style” of services change. Melissa, I have often questioned the authenticity of our youth and adults hearts as well as but God always brings me back to the same thing…He is the judge. It causes me to examine my own heart. I will say one thing about the youth today, so many are much more knowledgeable of God’s word than I ever was at their age! As I say, you do whatever it takes to reach people for Christ. Jesus went to where the people were.

  23. 23
    Anonymous says:

    AMEN SIESTA!!!!!!! Thank you for being so open to God and sharing what He shows you. I am “old”….what is a mosh pit???
    God moves in His mysterious ways to let all of us know what He wants us to “hear”. Keep on keepin on Melissa. God is definitely on the move in your life.
    Bible Bunny in MI

  24. 24
    kctibs says:

    What an amazing point that will be taken to heart by many today, tomorrow and beyond. Thank you for giving those of us that need the wake up call regarding youth and their faith. We do forget what it is like to be young and in love!

    Thanks again!
    Kelli in Colorado

  25. 25
    Shari says:

    Praise and Worship styles are one of those rib bones your mother talks about. Thanks so much for that reminder. I just sent my 14 year old off to youth camp!

  26. 26
    Sooz says:


  27. 27
    inpursuitofTheWord says:

    thanks for your honesty..
    Good thing God allows His kids to come with all shapes, sizes, personalities, colours, thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas. Good thing He adores the “humanity” in us all 😀
    The more I know my Saviour I realise that He’s more multi-faceted and complex than I could have ever imagined. In all our ‘differences’ His many facets are reflected in us.
    God Bless you melissa.. happy newlewedding!! (and yes, ‘newlewedding’ is a verb).. hahaha
    buenos dias!

  28. 28
    tiggerdaisy says:

    OH GIRL!!! You have said it! I don’t want to be a frozen chosen either, but I find myself slipping into that reality sometimes. I’m 31 and I don’t want to look down on the youth like some of the older christians look at me when I raise my hands and sway back and forth to worship music.

    Thanks for the gentle reminder. And girl, I love the way you write!

    Prayers and Blessings!

    P.S. Is there any possibility that you can share a day in the life of research? That might bore some of the other readers to tears, but I love research and would be encouraged to see how you do it. Thanks! By the way, your mom’s talk about airmail from Atlanta made me want to go home and back some of the goodies myself! How sweet of you to send that package to your mama!

  29. 29
    Anonymous says:

    related story of how I met my husband: i come from a mosh pit youth group- this very cute guy with a foot tall purple mohawk and his ears gauged a full inch played the base. One of my first nights at this church, when I was an avowed atheist, he stage dived into the crowd which didn’t see him coming and he landed on his face!!!! It was hilarious! I never stopped going! And then I married him! THANK GOD FOR RELEVANT CHURCHES.

  30. 30
    screamofcontinuousness says:

    we ALL struggle with this. I think it is hard to remain muse that means we have to stand closer to the fire. To a certain extent we are all afraid of that fire, even when we profess to love it.
    Thank you for your honesty.

  31. 31
    ProverbsWomanWannaBe says:

    To His Princess….Thank you so much for that beautiful expression of caring for this very hurt and confused siesta!!! Bless the LPM women for this site and the ability for us all to reach out to one another and ENCOURAGE!!! Miss Molly you rock and thank God for your response.
    In Him, Kristin

  32. 32
    inpursuitofTheWord says:

    and one more note.. even the ‘frozen chosen’ represent an beautiful ‘facet’ of God’s character.. quiet, still, and delightfully peaceful. 😀

  33. 33
    inpursuitofTheWord says:

    oh to know the Saviour more and begin to recognize His in each other :D!

  34. 34
    Anonymous says:

    Ok, I could barely differentiate between your writing and your mom’s! Amazing insight in transferring your heart to words that I can wrap myself around. Melissa, thank you for the transparency. I believe God wants to do even more amazing works in your life and take what your mom’s ministry is and bring it too HIS next level. Praise Him. You, Amanda, Curt and Beth are so instramental in kingdom work and I love you all dearly and pray for you and LPM regularly. Blessings.

    A Siesta

  35. 35
    MITZI says:

    Thanks for the word Melissa. At 58 years old I am sometimes horrified to hear the things that come out of my mouth like, “Why do we have to change it?….We never did that before, why now?….I’m not going to like it…. Those young kids are a too loud (meaning the teens) etc. I never wanted to become one of those few older folk who complained about change all the time and yet I find myself saying the things I never though I would. thankfully as soon as it’s out of my mouth the Holy Spirit allows me to hear how petty I am. Ouch. Now I try to see God in the situation and that help to keep my tongue in check.

  36. 36
    sammie says:

    Melissa, you almost made me want to quit bible study, I never want to get to that ugly place where a youth mosh pit turns me off. Young Life Rocks, and I think Jesus really smiles when he sees people like your friend Jamie, loving His children. I’m 53 and I am continuously floored with how God works in mosh pit programs.If you are not relevent you will quickly turn into a relic.(Paul Scanlon)

  37. 37
    Marsha says:

    Amen! I, too, don’t want to be a “frozen chosen.”

  38. 38
    Yolanda says:


    What a great reminder, that you and I don’t know the hearts of others. Only the ANCIENT OF DAYS!!

    Thank you for sharing your experience from yesterday with us, and for reminding us to be more real.


  39. 39
    Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing. The thing that struck me was the young girl saying she just couldn’t stop thinking about Jesus…I stopped and prayed that He would help me to love Him more and have that joy of thinking about Him all the time.
    My teenage children attend a mosh pit kind of youth group. I would rather be there to worship than anywhere else in the church. My 16 year old is usually right in the middle of things. How wonderful to have the freedom to dance and jump for Him. We, the frozen chosen, could use some of that.
    God bless you!
    Missy C.

  40. 40
    karen says:

    Last year, my husband and I visited a church and part way into the worship, he leans over and whispers “I didn’t know we were coming to one of those all night rave parties.” To this day, we still refer to it as “the rave church”. I’m just glad they put the words up on the screen, so we don’t feel REALLY old saying, “I can’t understand a thing they’re saying.”

    Gotta love it.

    Dripping Springs, TX

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    How timely! I have been praying that God would help me to lose any judgemental thoughts in my mind. It it His kindness that leads us to repentance.

  42. 42
    Bev Brandon says:

    I’m 57 and I’m jumping in the mosh pit with them. Some shifts occurred in my heart two years ago when I despaired even of life and I’ve never recovered for I see Him in ways I never have, I long for Him like never before, and am alive in ways I’ve never been. I don’t want to recover like I was before. I really liked what you wrote! It got my attention this first day of SCHOOL’S FINALLY OUT! You stirred my heart! You made me think of David saying—I will become even more undistinguished than this in my worship of HIM! Thanks precious Melissa! Bev

  43. 43
    Amroosie says:

    My heart beats to every word you wrote. I think it’s time to be real and unashamed. What a great encouragement the young girl has been to so many who have read your words today! What a great word!

  44. 44
    elaine @ peace for the journey says:

    Powerful reflection, Melissa. Keep your pen at the ready. I have a thought that God’s ink has only begun to pour.


  45. 45
    Anonymous says:

    Bless you Melissa for realizing that none of us need to set ourselves up as a judge. He called us to be a WITNESS – not judge and/or jury! Praise God for your love for Him. 1 cool nana

  46. 46
    Holly says:

    I remember the summer of 1994, my Chris and I had just moved to Little Rock and joined the choir before we joined the church. I was 23 and Chris, 24. We were asked to come and go with the youth group to help at Six Flags. I was so amazed. For only 6 months out of college, we found ourselves old and standing aside while the kids played and rode every ride. All of a sudden we were Mrs. Holly and Mr. Chris. No longer were we cool folks to the youth. We were “like old or something.” In my heart, I rebelled. But then something changed. I gracefully walked out in my new role with joy at the passion I was seeing in the generation behind me (that would be yours, sweet Melissa).

    What good words you write. May we always be fervent in heart and soul and body and spirit for the Living Lord Jesus, who is the Coolest!

    Praying for some cool to come upon your fair city!

  47. 47
    Pam B from SC says:

    That’s a great testimony! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    My son and his friends film themselves playing Christian rock and throwing a mosh pit party. I turn away 🙂 Not in judgment, but with the calm assurance that the Holy Spirit lives in them and will certainly direct them in their generation. Okay- it scares me when they scream instead of sing but I won’t go into that 🙂

    “When everything inside me looks like everything I hate,
    You are the hope I have for change,
    You are the only chance I’ll take.
    ‘Cause I’m on fire when You’re near me.
    I’m on fire when You speak.
    I’m on fire burning at these mysteries.” Switchfoot song

    May the peace of Christ dwell richly in our hearts today, sweet siestas!

  48. 48
    Melana says:

    Thank-you Melissa, for your timely message! I’m 52, could break a hip in a mosh pit…but I too have been one of those who was trying to figure out if “they” were really saved…because the music, clothes, hair etc. was different than mine.

    Aren’t we soooo glad that there IS NOT a cookie cutter mold to fit in?

    Melana in Wyoming

  49. 49
    Anonymous says:


    Don’t be too hard on yourself, you haven’t reached frozen chosen status because you recognized it in it’s early stages and stopped it. I too have to fight it, but teaching high school for 20 years has helped keep me young. Most of all I find that youth just want us older folks to be real and admit that we make mistakes too. They also like to know that we can learn something from them too.

    In Christ,

  50. 50
    Momma 2 5 says:

    Amen, Amen and Amen!!! We need to do more joining together and less judging others! Thanks for the reminder.
    You are do great Melissa!
    Amanda in SC

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