A Problem In Participatory/Organic Church — Someone Repeatedly Talking Too Much

One potential problem in participatory church is one person taking too much time by repeatedly talking too much and drawing attention to herself/himself.  This can be a major distraction in a meeting and can hinder what God wants to do.

talking too much

A participatory church meeting is not a place for people to show what they know. It’s a place for people to be fair and let others share. (“Knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” –1 Corinthians 8:1)

A successful participatory church meeting requires that some people lovingly hold back their desire to talk, so that other people can feel free to share what God puts on their heart. The Importance of Sharing, from the AlcoholRehab website, puts it this way:

“This type of communication is called sharing for a reason. It means giving other people the opportunity to speak. Some individuals may be really struggling and really feel the need to share. They might not get this opportunity if some members are using up too much time at the meetings.”

How can the problem of one person talking too much be solved (or prevented)?

In the early days of The Salvation Army they allowed anybody to testify during their corps (church) meetings.  The way they handled someone talking too much was what they called “singing them down.”  Someone present would start a song and as everybody joined in, the person talking too much would get the idea and quietly sit down.

Here are some other ways:

1) Bathe the meeting in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to be so present that people have a difficult time overriding His plan for the meeting.

2) If a person begins to regularly take too much time in the meeting, talk to her/him alone and explain the need for everybody to self-limit their talking so others can share.  Ask her/him to only share one time per meeting.  Some people get mad when you do this, but that shows that their heart isn’t right.  Other people agree to cooperate, but this a few weeks later slip back into the same pattern.  In that case you may need to talk to them several times.

3) If someone talks a third or fourth time in a meeting, one of the leaders can stand up and say:  “Thanks for what you are sharing, however, we want to give everybody an opportunity to share today and some people haven’t shared yet.  Who else has something on your heart for today?

4) Leadership needs to stay sensitive to the flowing of the Holy Spirit and ask God for discernment to know when to intervene and when to let things go.  Leadership should not impose their own will on the meeting, but lovingly and in a non-authoritarian way,  seek to keep the meeting from being led out of God will by anyone present.

(I posted a link to this on an Unprogrammed Quaker site and someone posted this about how their meeting deals with the problem:  “In our meeting, the ministry and worship committee from time to time makes a general announcement about discerning when to give vocal ministry [when to speak in the meeting].  If this doesn’t have an effect, I imagine eldering [a face to face talk with leadership] would be called for.)

(Another person commented on my link on the Quaker site:  “I chuckled when I read this because it reminded me of a comment someone new to Quakerism said to me after a meeting in which someone made some rambling remarks. The newby said, ‘If I were God, I would have never told that guy to say that!'”)

Posted in Friends meeting, Friends' worship, guidelines, open church, open mic, order of worship, participatory culture, Quaker meetings, Quaker worship, Quakerism, Quakers, Salvation Army, Salvation Army church, simple church, steps to, testifying, testimonies, testimonies in church, testimony, unprogrammed church, unprogrammed meeting | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

People Get Ready There’s A Train A Comin’ — (Get On Board The Revival Train)

Revival Train

Revival Train

Some time ago I saw (in my spirit) a mighty revival train rolling and rumbling through Nashville. Since that time, numerous times a week, I have seen (with my natural eyes) rows of the same number repeated 3 or more times — like 111, 8888, 444, 55555, or 777. It has happened far too many times to be coincidence. My wife and I have prayed about what it means and we get “alignment.” I believe God is aligning people and circumstances to His will so that He can release a mighty revival to begin in Nashville and spread around the world!

A couple of months ago, my wife and I booked a train ride on the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad in Bryson City, North Carolina on this train. When we arrived at the depot, we noticed that it was marked 777!

Is participatory church is a key to revival and spiritual awakening?  I like this quote from Kester Brewin:  “This (revival) is not going to happen through an upsurge in personal holiness but by radical transformation of our corporate practice.”

Ever since encountering the living Jesus Christ while a freshman in college, I’ve longed to see revival — a widespread movement of believers getting on fire for Christ and unbelievers becoming passionate, life-long Christ-followers — and I still seek, long for, and pray for revival.

Over the years, I’ve come to believe that our Sunday morning church format greatly hinders revival by stopping the free moving of the Spirit through tradition, human control, fear of being out of order, and prepackaged programming. I believe that one of the keys to revival is believers gathering not to sit and watch programs, but rather to corporately listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. That’s why I talk about participatory church so much!

And that’s why I like Kester Brewin’s quotation and find it greatly encouraging. Anybody ready to “radically transform” the way we do church (“our corporate practice”) and help bring on the revival train?

As Rod Stewart put it in his lyrics:

“People get ready
There’s a train a-coming
You don’t need no baggage
You just get on board
All you need is faith
To hear the diesels humming
Don’t need no ticket
You just thank the Lord.”

Get on board and experience participatory, organic church in Nashville at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., 37207 on Sunday mornings at 10:45.

Posted in Bryson City, Great Smokey Mountain Railroad, how we do church, Kester Brewin, Nashville, Nashville church, North Carolina, People get ready, quotation, Quotations, quote, Smokey Mountains, spiritual movement, spiritual visions, train rides | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

H8 is 2 much fr8 2 carry through life!

Deb8 is no reason 2 h8!

Posted in acts of kindness, equal rights, equality, human rights, Love one another, love your enemies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Where’d Da Glory Go? (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Paul of Tarsus wrote:  “To Him (God) be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations.”  (Ephesians 3:21)

According to these words from the New Testament, there is supposed to be glory in the church in the 21st Century (“throughout all generations”)! Glory is God’s awe inspiring majesty, His soul-stirring splendor, His deeply moving magnificence, His heart-throbbing grandeur, His overwhelming resplendence! And it is supposed to be in the church today! There was great glory in the early church (check it out in the Bible book of Acts). What happened? Where did God’s promised glory go?

Perhaps we’ve pushed it into the past by programming away His presence and His promptings in the present.  


Paul of Tarsus also refers to God’s “power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20) Your will is God’s workshop. He is continually working inside of you; nudging you to do what is right; asking you to turn away from wrong; trying to get you to listen to Him and to do what He says. God is trying make your will like His so that He can fully release His mighty power within you!

God’s “power that is at work within us” is very uncomfortable and even painful. It’s like surgery–it hurts us to heal us. Yet we seldom see beyond the hurt to the healing, so we shove away His workings and do our own thing (will) instead of His. Then we act confounded concerning why we continually crash and collapse into confusion and consternation.

Want a better life?  Start by stepping one step in a better direction (then keep stepping) and soon you will find yourself stepping into a better place!


Posted in a better life, Apostle Paul, contemporary church, contemporary churches, contemporary worship, New Testament, New Testament church, New Testament quote, Spirit's flow, spiritual adventure, spiritual awakening, spiritual battle, spiritual church, spiritual connections, spiritual exercises, spiritual experience, spiritual flow, spiritual growth, spiritual healing, spiritual life, spiritual listening, spiritual maturity, spiritual presence, spiritual reality, spiritual voices, spiritual warfare, spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2-Way Meetings 4 Meeting Jesus’ Top 2 Commandments

We need 2-way meetings in order 2 meet Jesus’ Top 2 Commandments:
–2-way interaction with God through worship & prayer, and hearing & obeying His voice.
–2-way support-group-style interaction with one another through mutual ministry by allowing everyday people to openly share encouragement, hope, & love in both verbal and demonstrative ways as prompted by the Spirit.
–(Jesus said that the Top 2 Commandments are to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself.)

It is time 4 Christ-followers need to be Spirit-thrilled, surging with love for and excitement about the living God!


“What would the church look like today if we really stopped taking control of it and let the Holy Spirit lead?” –Francis Chan

“If pastors fail to focus on equipping every member to do the work of the ministry, then we selfishly treat God’s people like children who have never grown up.” –Robert W. Kellerman

“Sadly, in far too many churches, the people of God are second-class citizens when it comes to the work of the ministry.” –Robert W. Kellerman

Posted in Dr. Bob Kellerman, equipping God's people, love, love God with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself, love yourself, quotation, Quotations, quote, Robert W. Kellerman, Spirit-led, Spirit-led church, Spirit-led interaction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Come To Jesus Meeting . . .

Come To Jesus Meeting?

I’ve heard people talk about a “Come To Jesus Meeting.” Mine was when as a freshman in college I wandered into an informal meeting in my dorm where ordinary students where sharing stories about how they encountered the living, resurrected Jesus Christ. I saw Jesus’ presence and reality in their words and in their faces and my life has never been the same!

Posted in Christian dorm meeting, college testimonies, colleges that change lives, Jesus, Jesus Christ, living Christ, meeting Jesus, transform lives, transformation | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Good Quote Deserves Another (Moving From Human Control To The Spirit’s Control)

Seeing this quote on Facebook & Twitter:

“When leaders put control into the hands of their people, at all levels, they unlock incalculable potential.” – Dennis Bakke

Inspired me to write this:

When pastors put control into the hands of the Holy Spirit at the level of allowing anybody present on Sunday morning to share from his/her heart as prompted by the Spirit; they unlock God’s infinite potential in their midst.

Perhaps church isn’t about hearing what the preacher says or doing what “Simon says” — but about ordinary people hearing and doing what the Spirit says. (“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.”)

Let the Holy Spirit be the Decision Maker!

Let the Holy Spirit be the Decision Maker!

Posted in organic church, Quotations, simple church, Christianity, quote, order of worship, participatory church, unprogrammed church, leaders, open church, contemporary church, led by the Spirit, church leadership, quotation, open mic, control, book, unscripted church, potential | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment