Intel inside or sin’s hell inside?

intel inside

So many computers have “intel inside” (powerful microprocessors).
So many humans have “sin’s hell inside” (tormenting microthoughts).

Have you “been well inside”?

Christ is here.  Hear Him!  His voice will calm your inner storms and give you peace.

Posted in Christ, Christ in you, core, health, hearing God, hearing Jesus, Hell, information processors, inner flow, inner hearing, inner peace, inner prompting, inner teacher, IT, peace, peace of mind, spiritual hearing, spiritual voices, tormenting thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is a 1-Man Sermon Like A Centipede With Only One Functioning Leg?

A church where 1 man does all the talking is like a centipede where only one leg does all the walking.  (See 1 Corinthians 14:26)

centepede

priesthood of the believer

Posted in alternative church, alternative to preaching, alternatives to sermons, church meetings, clergy, clergy/laity, clericalism, message, message in church, multi-voiced church, open church, open forum, open mic, organic church, participatory church, participatory sermons, preaching styles, pulpit, pulpit ministry | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spirit Promptings — Charles Stanley & Bill Hybels Quotes

Have you ever met with a group of Christ-followers simply to hear and obey the promptings of God?
It is an amazing thing to experience. Various people are inwardly prompted to say and/or do different things, yet it all blends harmoniously together!

“We are much more likely to hear what the Holy Spirit has to say if we are actively listening for Him to speak.” –Charles Stanley

“We must say yes to the Spirit when He prompts us to take a certain action or say a certain word. We must give mental assent to the Spirit’s direction, and then we must actually obey His prompting and follow through by doing or saying what He has called us to do or say.”  –Charles Stanley

“The living, loving God of the universe has spoken throughout history, and still speaks today – not just to pastors or priests, but to anyone who will listen. God will speak to you.” –Bill Hybels

“The issue isn’t whether or not God is speaking; its whether we will have ears to hear what He says.” –Bill Hybels

“More than anything, people need to know how to relate to God through His Word, and how to hear His prompting.”  –Bill Hybels

“This is the only life I get, my one and only shot at following God the way I feel Him prompting me to do so.”  –Bill Hybels

Charles Stanley

Posted in Bill Hybels, book, Charles Stanley, God's voice, hearing, hearing God, hearing Jesus, hearing the Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit promptings, how to flow in the spirit, how to listen to God, led by the Spirit, prompted by the Spirit, prompting of the Spirit, promptings, Spirit-led, Spirit-prompted, spiritual formation, spiritual hearing, spiritual life, spiritual listening, The Power of a Whisper, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Man Up! (Participatory/Organic Church Reaches Men!)

“The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.” –Churchformen.com.  Why does church in the U.S. not reach more men?

“Men are hard-wired for risk taking—particularly young men.  Churches need men because men are natural risk takers—and they bring that orientation into the church. Congregations that do not take risks atrophy. Jesus made it clear that risk taking is necessary to please God. In the parable of the talents, the master praises two servants who risked their assets and produced more, but he curses the servant who played it safe. He who avoids all risk is, in the words of Jesus, ‘wicked and lazy’.”  –David Murrow (From the book Why Men Hate Going To Church)

“Men don’t follow programs; they follow men.”  –David Murrow

“A business guru once said, ‘Your system is perfectly designed to give you the results you’re getting.” Christianity’s primary delivery system, the local church, is perfectly designed to reach women and older folks. That’s why our pews are filled with them. But this church system offers little to stir the masculine heart, so men find it dull and irrelevant. The more masculine the man, the more likely he is to dislike church.”  –David Murrow

For some reason, participatory church at The Salvation Army Berry Street goes against the U.S. trend and attracts men!  Almost every Sunday there are more men than women. One recent Sunday there were 70% men. The children’s/teen’s ministry is usually 90% boys.

Why does participatory church attract men?  1) There is risk!  2) There is excitement! 3) There are actual demonstrations of God’s presence, not just theology! 4) Anybody present has the opportunity to speak out and impact the meeting! 5) There is a strong sense of community & brotherhood! 6) People are not passively spoon-fed the Gospel, but are allowed to actively interact with and minister to one another.  7) Participatory church is not a tight, prepackaged program. 8) The direction of the meeting is uncertain and keeps people alert and involved.

Hey guys! Come and see for yourself!  Sundays @ 10:45 am. & Tuesdays @ 6:00 pm. — 225 Berry Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37207.

men church

Posted in Nashville, organic church, Quotations, simple church, Music City, quote, participatory church, Salvation Army Corps, Salvation Army church, Nashville charity, Nashville adventure, Nashville church, quotation, Salvation Army, participation, messy church, fresh expressions, BNA, David Murrow, men in chuch, men in church, reaching men, marketing to men, attracting men, churchformen | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Preaching In My Dreams–Boy, I Miss It! (A Nashville Story)

I miss preaching . . .

I woke up this morning dreaming that I was preaching. Although I haven’t preached a sermon in several years, I really miss it. When I preach, I feel the Holy Spirit surging through me. It’s an amazing experience and I love it. However, those I preach to don’t get to have the same experience.

(Here’s how my dream went:  I was attending some kind of Christian conference and, of course, listening to various preachers.  I kept thinking, “I wish I could preach here.”  Then I was sitting in a luncheon and someone came up to me and said:  “You’re going to love the speaker at lunch because he hasn’t planned what he is going to say.  He’s just going to preach from the heart.”  That got me excited. Then someone got up to introduce the luncheon preacher and said:  “Our speaker today is Steve Simms.”  I jumped up, went to the podium, and began to preach my heart out.)

One reason I love participatory church is that other people get to share in the experience of sharing the Gospel. They get to feel the Holy Spirit surging through them as they talk from the heart about their love for God, as led by the Spirit.

Another thing I like about it is that participatory church focuses the attention on God, Himself, rather than on what 1 man is saying about God. But it goes beyond that–it actually ushers in the Presence of God!

About 7 years ago I dreamed another dream.  In this one I was standing in front of a group of people and one after another, they were standing up and speaking about God.  There was a banner on the wall behind me that read:  “Show & Tell What God Has Done!”

Shortly after that dream, in March of 2008, my wife and I were asked to start a “non-traditional” Salvation Army corps (church) and if we had any ideas how we might do that. We shared the open format model from the dream and they gave us the go ahead to set up a new corps like that.

church dream

And we’re still doing it every Sunday in Nashville.  At The Salvation Army Berry Street, rather than a 1-man sermon, ordinary people show and tell what God has done, as they feel led by the Spirit.  Every Sunday is different.  And every Sunday is a powerful experience.  Come see for yourself:  Sunday mornings @ 10:45 & Tuesday nights @ 6:00, 225 Berry Street, Nashville 37207.

Posted in BNA, Christian conferences, fresh expressions, Fresh Expressions movement, messy church, Music City, Nashville adventure, Nashville charity, open forum, open mic, open sharing, order of worship, organic church, participatory church, religion, renewal, Salvation Army church, Salvation Army Corps, Salvation Army Nashville, simple church | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spirit-Led Church–Where Ordinary People Are The Playmakers

Go with the best flows!

–Life’s a flow show — currents streaming in us and around us — rivers flow, sap flows, blood flows, thoughts flow, emotions flow, time flows, information flows. But not all flows are equal — love flows and even evil flows.
–Are the rivers you’re streaming releasing a rush of peace, kindness, goodness, and joy? Or frustration, conflict, deception, and misery?
–For a happy life, go with the best flows! And resist the rest of them.

Church also flows, if we let it.  Experience the miracle of a Spirit-directed church meeting with no human program:
1) It doesn’t collapse into chaos;
2) No one person takes control;
3) As people spontaneously share, an invisible Leader becomes obvious;
4) People are spiritually touched and dramatically sense God’s presence.

Fans can’t change the outcome of a game — however, the outcome of a game is unpredictable because participants (playmakers) can and do change it.

sports fans
–Church attenders are seldom allowed to change the outcome of a service because the outcome of a church service is predictable — laid out ahead of time, step-by-step.
–But not at The Salvation Army Berry Street, where ordinary people, as directed by the Spirit, are allowed to change the outcome of the service as they show and tell what God has done.
–If your’re tired of sit-silently-still-and-listen-church, come and experience the excitement and energy of participatory church — Sunday at 10:45 am., 225 Berry St., Nashville 37207.

Question from a Salvation Army officer:
–“Hey Steve, Hope all is well! Was just curious to your post and had a question. So, do you allow the congregation to run the service? Do you present a message at all or do they just have testimony time.”
My answer:
–We have a different praise & worship leader each Sunday. Afterwards, we ask people to listen to the Spirit and do what He tells them. People share Scriptures, testimonies, words of encouragement, prayer requests, short teachings, prayers, gifts of the Spirit, etc. My wife and I also participate and share/teach as the Spirit leads us. We oversee the meeting and if anything is out of God’s order, we thank the person for sharing (add a word of correction if necessary) and turn the meeting back over to the Spirit. The results are always amazing. The meeting usually flows with a theme and everything blends together, demonstrating the invisible leadership of the Spirit.

Posted in Berry Street, fans, organic church, participatory church, playmaker, questions, rivers of living water, Salvation Army church, Salvation Army Corps, Salvation Army Nashville, Salvation Army officer, simple church, spectators, Spirit directed, Spirit-led, Spirit-led church, spiritual flow, sports fans | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Has Ray Rice Become The Poster Boy of American Brutality?

The video of NFL star, Ray Rice’s knockout punch to his girl friend (and now new wife) has brought the brutality of domestic violence to public attention.  In America we justly protest against the brutality of ISIS.  However, we often ignore our own brutality.

One example of American brutality is domestic violence.  I’ve read that 1 in 3 American women will be brutalized by a man she is in a relationship with.  That is horrific and widespread brutality (and that doesn’t include all the millions of children who are brutalized). They say that in America 1 in 5 college girls will be raped or sexually abused. Something is dreadfully wrong when society is this evil!

Here is a powerful way to reduce domestic violence in the USA . . .  What if the federal government declared that an attack on an American woman is an attack on the United States? That would make any American man who hit or hurt an American woman, unpatriotic — an American traitor.

American men, be patriotic!  Defend American women.  Don’t side with our enemies and abuse them!

domestic violence

 

Posted in America, American, child abuse, college rape, evil, evil in our society, patriotism, stop domestic violence, United States, USA, violence, violence epidemic, violence in society | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment