During praise and worship an image came to my mind. I saw a group of people, all neatly facing the front of the room, sitting at banquet tables with full plates in front of them. Then I saw a man stand up in the front of the room and begin to instruct and direct everybody to eat in perfect sync (like synchronized swimmers).
Then it came to me that we don’t program, orchestrate and control how people eat at a banquet. We allow everyone to eat at her own pace and according to her own appetite. To attempt to get people to eat in unison would be considered crazy.
So why don’t we allow people the same freedom in church services — to hear directly from the living God, to partake of spiritual food at their own pace and to obey the Holy Spirit’s promptings, rather than being programmed in sync from the front? Perhaps it is simply because we are stuck in tradition. In the Western world; “We’ve always done it that way.” We’ve not seen examples of spontaneous, Spirit-led church.
However, if you would like to experience Spirit-prompted, participatory church, there is one in Nashville, Tennessee — The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center. We meet on Sunday mornings at 10:45 at 225 Berry Street, 37207.