There’s nothing quite like worshiping the Lord in a new, innovative, and cool way! Who says you have to confine your worship to the church sanctuary? In this new series, “Church Unconventional”, I will explore churches and worship experiences that take praising the Lord to a new level. In this edition, I checked out what’s quickly becoming the nation’s premier “turn up” and “worship experience” organization for Christians, Culture New:Norm! Co-Founded by Veronica Holmes and Tawana Burks (Howard University graduates), this is an experience that redefines what it means to worship. I recently attended Culture: New Norm’s Mixtape Release party, and experienced the livest turn up for Christ EVER! Complete with a Christian freestyle rap battle, this event turned out scores of millennial’s that are thirsty for a new kind of out-of-the-box worship. I caught up with “New Normer” Bukola Bamigboye and got the scoop on this unique praise party that’s evangelizing to those that are familiar, and unfamiliar with the power of Christ.
What is Culture: New Norm?
Culture: New Norm is a gateway for people to experience freedom in Christ’s love through community and nightlife entertainment.
How did Culture: New Norm begin and what fuels its mission?
This movement was birthed through a party for college students, and then expanded to all young adults after seeing such a great need for organic fun. We are fueled by the freedom of the Holy Spirit that the Culture: New Norm partygoer experiences. We are excited about setting an example for this generation, and being a living witness to the fact that God is not trying to snuff the fun out of living for Him. We are also excited to see all the great things God will do as a result of our stepping out on faith, and having a heart to see lives changed through fun fellowship.
Culture: New Norm has been called the nation’s premier “turn up” and “worship experience” organization for Christians. Who would you say the mission is reaching most?
We all have known people who feel they want to wait until later in life to live for God. The reason being is the fear of having to relinquish “fun, entertainment, and a satisfying social life”. Culture: New Norm parties are seeking to reach that need in the Kingdom of God. With a liberating environment, a DJ, food, dance, and fellowship, we set out to establish a New Norm in the Kingdom of God. The message we believe God wants to deliver to this generation is that He is the creator of fun; therefore, we do not need a substance to assist or help us enjoy ourselves. Hence, Culture: New Norm parties/events do not serve alcohol. 2 Corinthians 3:17 tells us that “Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom”. We believe He wants this generation to know what real freedom and fun looks like. God wants to reclaim this area in our lives. He wants to be the center of all we do—even “partying”.
New Gospel/Inspirational artists are just beginning to find their way to the radio airwaves. Has Culture: New Norm grabbed the attention of any of these artists yet?
We have been blessed with two of the hottest DJs in the game as the official culture DJs. DJ Chairman and DJ Tina B both have an amazing following and a heart to serve the community. Our DJs know how to turn up for the King! You can expect to hear the hottest tracks at any Culture: New Norm party because our DJs are true professionals of their craft. God opened mighty doors regarding our DJs and we believe he will call the artists he desires to use to expand the movement next.
Since Culture: New Norm is not your average worship experience, have you experienced any opposition from Christian traditionalists who may not understand the mission?
Yes! We experienced opposition from Christians every time we share about Culture: New Norm. God told us to expect that when He gave us the vision for Culture: New Norm. He said that this is a new thing that hasn’t been done before. So, there are always a healthy dose of questions like: How do Christians turn up? What does that look like? What music do you play? Why are the lights out? Do you serve alcohol at your parties?
We always answer the questions and share that Culture: New Norm is a new thing that is best experienced. Once we get past the natural opposition that people have, and share the heart behind Culture: New Norm they almost always respond in excitement asking when the next party will be. It is also a way to invite non-believers in who would not automatically walk into a church. They have an encounter with God and see that He is limitless.
What goals do you hope to achieve through the worship experience that is Culture: New Norm?
We have long term and short term goals of growth and development. Our presence is mainly on the east coast, however we plan to branch out into other major cities and open Culture: New Norm lounges. All of our goals are submitted under God’s leadership, and our ultimate goal is that His name is magnified. We always want people to experience His presence when they attend a Culture: New Norm event, and feel welcomed into the Culture: New Norm family.
How can people find out when the next Culture: New Norm event is happening?
People can find out more about Culture: New Norm and when our next event is by visiting our website at Culturenewnorm.com. They can also follow us on Instagram @culture_newnorm or like our Facebook page simply called Culture. We have a “Turn Up” party and a worship experience called “The Call” two Fridays of every month. Our Next party is our Mixtape Release Party: Vol 2 with DJ Chairman, on Friday, September 25th 2015, at 2616 Georgia Ave., NW, Washington, DC.
I’d love to visit and feature your unconventional worship service or event! Interested? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.