…This was a group of almost complete strangers, of totally different spiritual experience, so I was not sure where to begin. … rather than diving in with heavy handed prayer we just ask God for his direction and then wait quietly to see what God spoke to us. I also encouraged each to be humble before God, and to truly expect Him to speak quietly into our hearts, no matter what we had experienced before. If he did, we should then be bold enough to reveal it to the rest. …
. Church just happened!
The traditional Protestant worship service today strongly resembles a show business performance. In both we find ushers, programs, music, costumes, lighting, a chorus, a stage, a script, an audience, and a master of ceremonies. The congregation sits passively as the audience while the pastor performs. … Meanwhile, ninety-nine percent of God’s people attend worship services Sunday after Sunday for years on end, without ever contributing any true spiritual ministry to the body of gathered believers.
Is this the way God intended for His church to meet? Can the traditional model of church meetings be found in the pages of Scripture? It is my conviction that our tradition which expects the laity to remain spectators while the clergy conduct the “show” cannot be found in the pages of our New Testament, but is instead a serious aberration from the model revealed in the word of God. Rather, the New Testament describes the body of Christ as meeting in a manner in which every believer has the potential of contributing to the building up of the congregation in some significant way.
… the biblical purpose for which the church gathers is to edify one another.
… In light of this biblical teaching [1 Corinthians 12], how can we justify the idea that when we assemble, only the pastor may use his gifts while the rest of the body remains passive and silent?
– participatory vs directed?
“… We encourage them to be the church, rather than trying to ‘do’ church for them or importing church. That way, they learn to minister to each other and grow up in the Lord. …”