A weather station doesn’t try to program, direct, or control the weather. Rather it closely observes and interacts with the weather and then reports on and responds to it.
What if a church didn’t try to program, direct, or control its worship meetings; but rather sought to closely observe and interact with the Holy Spirit and then to report on and respond to what the Spirit says? (“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” –Jesus in Revelation 2:7.)
Are you disappointed with church? Many people are. For many, their longing for peace, love, and community hasn’t been fulfilled in church, so they have turned to other groups: clubs, support groups, gyms, multilevel marketing groups, AA or NA, and/or bars to find what they need.
Perhaps we need a fresh, interactive way of doing church. Participatory church where people share from their hearts with one another, as led by the Spirit, connects people in loving community. Come see for yourself at The Salvation Army Berry Street, on Sundays at 10:45 am. and/or Tuesday nights at 6:00 at 225 Berry St., Nashville, 37207.
Here’s an example. Even children can do participatory church:
My wife and I just did a devotion for 40-something 6-9 year olds who are part of our Salvation Army Summer Day Camp in East Nashville. We did a puppet show about the prophet Eli and the little boy Samuel who hears God talk to him. Then we shared how God talks to people today and that if He would speak to Samuel, He will speak to them. We asked the children to listen quietly to God. Then we asked them to come to the mic and tell what God told them. Half of them came to the mic, one after the other, and shared amazing words from God like: “God says you don’t have to be afraid;” “God told me to respect people:” “God said that I don’t have to be shy about talking to people;” “God says He loves me;” “God told me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
These kids (boys and girls) were so sweet and so sincere; it deeply touched me. There was a strong sense of God’s presence among us as they interacted with the Holy Spirit and then reported on and responded to what the Spirit said.