Safe Church — Unlocking God’s Glory!

In the New Testament church was awesomely filled with the Presence of God.  How can the 21st Century church recover the lost combination for God’s glory in our meetings?

safe 2

While thinking about this, a scene suddenly came to my mind.  I saw a group of people sitting in front of a safe that looked like a large bank vault.  One person after another took turns getting up, going to the safe, and turning the lock to a different number.  After most of the people had put in their number, the safe opened and the glorious radiance of God’s Presence filled the room.

safe4

Traditionally, church has depended on one man (a preacher, a priest, a pastor, a parson) to unlock their understanding of and experience with God.  The results have been that we usually hear a good, safe talk about God and or theology (called a sermon), but we don’t unlock and release His actual, awesome glory into the room.   Why?  Because no one person, single-handedly has the combination to God’s glory.  As the body of Christ we need every member to bring their number and share it in the meeting.

Paul of Tarsus describes the ancient combination that unlocks God’s glory like this:  “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.”  (1 Corinthians 14:26)

safe 3

Come and unlock God’s glory with us at The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, Tennessee, where rather than a 1-man message, ordinary men and women share the part of  God’s combination that He puts on their heart.  Sundays @ 10:45 am. & Tuesdays @ 6:00 pm., 225 Berry St., 37207.

 

 

Posted in 1 Corinthians 14:26, church community, church format, church meetings, church safe, early church, experiencing God, experiential worship, God, God's glory, how to recover a lost combination, lost combination, mysticism, New Testament, New Testament church, organic church, Paul of Tarsus, releasing God's glory, religion, safe in church, tradition, traditional church, worship, worship innovation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

When church is honest & raw, there will be awe!

When church is honest & raw, there will be awe!  It will be stunning.

When the first Christians gathered, the Bible says: “Everyone was filled with awe” –Acts 2:43. Awe is a stirring and powerful sense of amazement, astonishment, bewilderment, and/or wonder. So why isn’t there awe when Christians gather nowadays? Perhaps that’s because we have church meetings so programmed and controlled that nothing out of the ordinary (nothing awesome) can happen.

However, what if we set aside our programs, agendas, and control, and instead asked God to do whatever He wants to in the meeting through whomever He chooses? We would be amazed at the awesome things people would say and do when prompted by the Spirit and at how it would all come together in a beautiful demonstration of God’s presence and leadership.

This isn’t just a theory. It happens every Sunday morning at The Salvation Army Berry Street. And almost everybody present is truly in awe of what we have just seen and heard. Come see for yourself!  225 Berry Street, Nashville, 37207 @ 10:45 am. (also at 6:00 pm. on Tuesdays).  

Posted in Berry Street, Berry Street Worship Center, Nashville charity, Nashville church, Nashville tourist attractions, order of worship, organic church, Salvation Army, Salvation Army church, Salvation Army Corps, Salvation Army Nashville, simple church, spiritual church | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Democracy, Ekklesia, & Church (It’s Greek to most of us.)

An ekklesia was the governing body of an ancient Greek city-state and the world’s first expression of democracy.   It was made up of all of the adult, male citizens in a particular city-state and met 40 times per year to discuss issues and to directly make policy decisions by each person having one equal vote. Everyone was considered equal in the ekklesia and any citizen present could participate and share his ideas, opinions, and concerns.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says:  “I will build my ekklesia.” (Jesus’ ekklesia, unlike the Greek ones, was made up of His followers, both male and female.) Unfortunately, the early English translators put it this way:  “I will build my church.”

ekklesia

However, throughout the Greek (original language) New Testament, a body (or group) of Christ-followers is called an ekklesia.  Rather than just bringing that word into English, the earliest Bible translators used the English word church, which referred to a place of religious worship. By doing this, the translators lost the meaning and the history of the Greek ekklesia and turned the idea of church into a building for religious worship (or an institution) rather than an assembly of believers sharing together and ministering to one another (an ekklesia).

The word ekklesia, however, did find its way into the English language.  You can see it in the English word ecclesiastical, which means, “of or relating to the church.”  For example, ecclesiastical history means church history.

Replacing the word ekklesia with the word church has slanted our traditional view of how the body of Christ gathers and functions.  However, a careful reading of the New Testament will still reveal the ekklesia.  Believers are continually commanded to minister to “one another,” which appears to indicate that the early church meetings were participatory/ekklesia style, rather than controlled by one leader up front.

In his letter to the believers in the former city-state of Corinth, Greece (then under Roman rule), Paul describes the early church (ekklesia) this way:  “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.” –1 Corinthians 14:26.  These words couldn’t help but cause the Christians in Corinth to think about the history of their city’s ekklesia and about how they, as believers, should also meet in an open, equal, and participatory style.

I believe that in the 21st Century, God wants to restore the church to its ekklesia roots — to make it participatory and interactive, prompted and led by the Spirit, rather than programmed and controlled by a one-man leader/teacher.

Around the world, the traditional, institutional church is in decline.  However, millions of people are discovering the ekklesia.  This movement goes by several names:  organic church, simple church, fresh expressions, messy church (primarily for children), house church, non-traditional church.  It is revolutionizing the body of Christ by releasing believers to show and tell what God has done.

If you are in the Nashville area, you can experience ekklesia at The Salvation Army Berry Street, on Sunday mornings at 10:45 and Tuesday nights at 6:00.  The address is 225 Berry St., Nashville, 37207.

If not, you can invite a group of Christ-followers to your house, read 1 Corinthians 14:26 to them, and then ask them to listen to the Spirit and to say or do whatever He prompts them to.  The results will amaze you.  Go ahead and try it — step into God’s ekklesia!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Nashville, organic church, house church, church history, simple church, movement, New Testament, Greek, Matthew, early church, 1 Corinthians 14:26, one anothers, church meetings, Greek word, assembly, Matthew 16, Roman Empire, Rome, Nashville church, Salvation Army, early Christians, New Testament quote, I will build my church, messy church, fresh expressions, Greek city state, Greek New Testament, ancient Greece, first church, ancient Greek wisdom, Greek philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When The Game Stands Tall, Yall!

When The Game Stands Tall moved me.  It is about the team with the longest winning streak in sports history, De La Salle High School in Concord, California — 151 games.

When The Game Stands Tall shows how a coach built a football team on caring relationships. The movie visibly demonstrates the amazing power of sharing from the heart to heal and to transform individuals into passionate and powerful people.

As coach Bob Ladouceur (played by Jim Caviezel) says, this movie “made my heart swell.”  There is so much potential in heart-felt sharing and caring.  However, as a society, we tend to reject openness, humility, putting others first, and vulnerability (outside of support groups).  That may explain why this movie received bad reviews.  But don’t let the reviewers hold you back.  Go see it!

when the game stands tall

You can also experience the power of heart-felt sharing at The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, Tennessee, where rather than a 1-man sermon, ordinary people show & tell what God has done!  225 Berry Street, 37207 — Sunday mornings @ 10:45 & Tuesday nights @ 6:00.

Posted in bad reviews, California, church, football, humility, Jim Caviezel, organic church, quotation, quote, Salvation Army, society, sports, support group, surrender, Tennessee | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grace Gets The Hell Out!

Grace is not permission to live like Hell and go to Heaven. Grace is the power to get the Hell out of your life! Got grace? “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Grace is a U-turn.  It is true repentance and transformation.

Grace is not a doctrine or a teaching.  It is an experience that continually burns in your heart.  Grace is contagious and spreads God’s fire to others.

Grace is free, but not cheap.  It cost the Cross!

Grace is free, but not easy–it’s like a mountain climb.  It is free hike up Pike’s Peak in Colorado, but it is one of the hardest things to do!

Grace is free like hiking up Pike's Peak.  However, both are difficult and require much effort!

Grace is free like hiking up Pike’s Peak. However, both are difficult and require much effort!

Many choose to be naive about experiencing God. That is the worst naivety.

 

Posted in Amazing Grace, cheap grace, Colorado Springs, cross, doctrine, doctrines, free, God, God allows U-turns, God's grace, God's power, humble, humility, James 4:6, naive, naivety, pride, repent, repentance, salvation, transformation | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Got something stirring in your soul?

Posted in soul food, soul man, spiritual awakening, spiritual experiences, spiritual fire, spiritual flow, spiritual formation, spiritual gifts, spiritual health, spiritual hearing, spiritual hunger, spiritual life, spiritual listening, spiritual movement, spiritual passion, spiritual power, spiritual presence, spiritual prompting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

It Takes A Glow Brainer To Turn A “No Brainer” Into A Know Brainer!

Both a phone with no service and someone without a strong Spirit-signal, find frustration and meaninglessness.  However, a glow brainer will give you a strong Spirit-signal.  When God shines in your heart, He enlightens your mind!  ” For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 

Sometimes what we think is obvious and refer to as a no brainer, is really a clever deception designed to miss up our life.  Some no brainers are really know brainers, requiring much knowledge and discernment.

For example:  This looks like a no brainer:  “Just because you feel something, doesn’t make it true.  Just because you want something, doesn’t make it right.”  However, if you think about it for a minute and turn it into a know brainer, you will realize that our society teaches just the opposite and leads us into confusion and deception.  Society has brainwashed many of us into falsely believing “If if feels good do it.  If you feel it, it’s true and it’s right.”

What we need is a glow brainer!  A glow brainer gives us discernment and helps us make wise decisions.  Decisions determine direction & drive destiny. Decide deliberately.

A glow brainer helps us to make Spirit-led choices.  Choices cause consequences & create circumstances. Choose carefully.

know brainer

So what can enlighten you and make your brain glow?  Surrender to Jesus!  (Not the religious one; but the living One!)

You can experience a glow brainer at The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, Tennessee on Sundays at 10:45 am. and/or Tuesdays at 6:00 pm. (225 Berry St); where rather than a 1-man sermon, normal people show and tell what God has done.

Watching the living, resurrected Jesus Christ lead a church meeting without a human program or agenda is a glow brainer, enlightening your mind with the glory of God!  Come see!

 

Posted in 2 Corinthians 4:6, brainer, glory of God, glow brainer, if it feels good, Nashville, Nashville church, Salvation Army, Salvation Army church | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment