Is there only one, correct way of doing church? Sometimes it seems so.
For five hundred years there has basically been only one, right way of doing church. Regardless of denomination or doctrine, church has almost universally contained a central, one-man sermon. There have been very few exceptions to this “correct way of doing church” during the past 5 centuries since the Protestant Reformers made the sermon central, and the few have been persecuted. In fact, if there is no sermon, many people will dogmatically say that there is no church.
However, before the Protestant Reformation, there was another, almost universal way of doing church. This “correct way of doing church” involved having the Eucharist (the Lord’s Supper, communion) as the central aspect of church with a short homily (sermon) off to the side.
However, if we read the Bible, we see another way of doing church, very clearly presented: “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.”
I like this quote: “Being a fresh expression of church is just as valid as being a more inherited model of church.” –Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church (UK) and board chairman of the Fresh Expressions movement.