If the same piece of a jigsaw puzzle is held up week after week, no one will get the picture. However, if all the pieces work together, as directed by a wise hand, an awesome picture comes into view! “If an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!‘” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25)
For me, #1 has always been a lonely number for a Sunday morning church service — to have only 1 person run the meeting and the same 1 person give a message, week after week, seems to leave out the rest of the numbers, all the people who sit quietly in church and watch and listen.
I became a Christ-follower in a campus fellowship where anybody could share, or pray, or read a Scripture, as they felt led by the Holy Spirit. When I graduated I tried to find a church like that, but for 32 years I never could. Then The Salvation Army asked my wife and I to start a “non-traditional” church in East Nashville. We accepted their invitation and set it up to be participatory, where it is not built on the lonely number 1, but where anybody present can show and tell what God has done.
Guess what? Church isn’t lonely any more! Come see for yourself @ 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN, 37207 on Sundays at 10:45.
“Privileged priests tend to be a function of static, hierarchical religious institutions. Ministry shared by all and apportioned according to recognized gifts bestowed by the Spirit, tends to be a function of a dynamic community of faith which is ever on the move.” –Retired Salvation Army Commissioner, Phil Needham.