William Booth, co-founder (along with his wife) of The Salvation Army, believed that church meetings should be participatory and not just involve one person running the meeting and doing all the ministry. Here’s what he said:
“Some murmurs have reached us as to whether ‘The Officer’ (magazine) may defeat its good intentions and cut its own throat by converting officers into preachers. It is rumored that at some corps (Salvation Army churches) the soldiers (members) never have a chance except in the open air, the Captain reserving all the indoor meetings to himself. Surely this is an exaggeration. The General is going to deal with this danger. Let us be awake to it, and do our utmost to avoid the snare.” –William Booth (co-founder of The Salvation Army)
“I have lived, thank God, to witness the separation between layman and cleric become more and more obscured.” –William Booth (co-founder of The Salvation Army)
“I found that a sermonic address is but of little service. A random talk is the most effective.” –William Booth
“We have no very definite plans. We shall be guided by the Holy Spirit.” –William Booth
“‘The (Salvation) Army has at least one point of supremacy over the church, for no one ever goes to sleep in a Salvation Army meeting.’ (quote from Rollin L. Hartt, 1893). People stayed awake because the meeting was full of intensity and variety, requiring the active participation of the ‘saved’ and the full attention of the casual attendees.”
From the book “Come Join Our Army” by R.G. Moyles (Crest Books, 2007)
So perhaps we should not limit the voice of God in a church service to just one person, while everyone else merely sits, watches, and listens. God once spoke through a donkey, so He can speak powerfully through any person in a church meeting, even the least likely ones; if we will just allow Him to.