What To Expect From Going Clubbing
Drinking, dancing… praising God? Clubbing can be a lot of fun, but when our heart is not in the right place it can be damaging. A few of our writers explore what we as Christians can expect when we go clubbing and if it is possible to glorify God when going out.
My main advice is that, as God’s children, we can go out because we are satisfied, not to be satisfied. Going out doesn’t need to be about feeling attractive, looking popular in photos, or forgetting about stress – because Jesus has fully met all of our needs.
This applies to drinking – I like alcohol, but I’ve found it helpful to keep this verse in mind: ‘Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery, but instead be filled with the spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18). It is important to know your limits, and moreover it is especially liberating to know the joy of the Holy Spirit, which gives true freedom.
It is possible to turn club songs into worship in your head and heart, making it way easier to dance - friends have often asked ‘what I’m on’ when I’m totally sober but just praising God! The Bible talks a lot about God being ‘my strength and my song’ and dancing for joy - it’s fun to be able to do that in a clubbing context.
It’s great to take 5 minutes before going out to pray and tune into God’s perspective. By simply loving Jesus and loving your friends – often very practically – you can be a real light for Jesus in the darkness of a club.
I became a Christian during my first and second years at uni, so my experiences of going out and clubbing changed quite dramatically! Before I moved away for uni, I’d never been a big drinker or a partier so my first proper experiences of drinking and clubbing were during Freshers Week. I threw myself headfirst into student life, going out several times a week and rolling in to 9am lectures in my pyjamas, nursing a sore head and a very large cup of tea!
I loved the whole experience of going out: getting dressed up, playing drinking games with my flatmates, dancing until my feet hurt and then the obligatory post-night out burger that tastes so good at 2am (but you regret horribly in the morning!). It was also my first time experiencing attention from guys and to be honest, I enjoyed it. It was great feeling attractive and young and free!
After I made the decision to give my life to Jesus, my experiences of clubbing definitely changed. I still went out with my friends, but I found I wasn’t having as much fun as I had in my first year. I didn’t like the way being drunk made me feel out of control and all of a sudden, the best parts of going out were getting ready and the 2am burger! It wasn’t that since I had become a Christian I suddenly believed that clubbing and drinking were evil – it was that my motivations had changed.
Where I had previously been getting fulfilment from the attentions of guys and confidence from a few drinks, I was now getting my fulfilment and confidence from God. Because I was starting to see myself as God saw me, I realised that my value didn’t come from how attractive guys thought I was on a night out or how good I looked in the photos on Facebook the next day! When considering the switch I had made from my first year, 2 Corinthians 5:17 really stood out to me:
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.’
I feel that my experiences of clubbing really embodied this verse – the things that I had previously found fun and fulfilling now felt meaningless and shallow. The old me really had died and the new me had been made alive by Christ.
These days you’re unlikely to find me dancing the night away with my friends – I’d much rather cozy up with a glass of wine and a good box set! I’m not saying that going out and having a few drinks is a bad – but it is bad if you feel that you’re more susceptible to sin when you’re in that type of environment.
If you enjoy clubbing, perhaps take a moment to think about what makes it fun for you and that your motivations are in the right place. If you don’t feel tempted to sin, then that’s great. But if you feel that going clubbing and drinking is hindering your walk with Jesus, then maybe it’s time for a night in on the sofa.
‘But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”’ 1 Samuel 16:7
‘For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.’ 1 Peter 1:18-19
‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’ Psalm 139:13-14