I miss preaching . . .
I woke up this morning dreaming that I was preaching. Although I haven’t preached a “traditional” sermon in several years, I really miss it. When I preach, I feel the Holy Spirit surging through me. It’s an amazing experience and I love it. However, those I preach to don’t get to have the same experience.
(Here’s how my dream went: I was attending some kind of Christian conference and, of course, listening to various preachers. I kept thinking, “I wish I could preach here.” Then I was sitting in a luncheon and someone came up to me and said: “You’re going to love the speaker at lunch because he hasn’t planned what he is going to say. He’s just going to preach from the heart.” That got me excited. Then someone got up to introduce the luncheon preacher and said: “Our speaker today is Steve Simms.” I jumped up, went to the podium, and began to preach my heart out.)
One reason I love participatory church is that other people get to share in the experience of sharing the Gospel. They get to feel the Holy Spirit surging through them as they talk from the heart about their love for God, as led by the Spirit.
Another thing I like about it is that participatory church focuses the attention on God, Himself, rather than on what 1 man is saying about God. But it goes beyond that–it actually ushers in the Presence of God!
About 7 years ago I dreamed another dream. In this one I was standing in front of a group of people and one after another, they were standing up and speaking about God. There was a banner on the wall behind me that read: “Show & Tell What God Has Done!”
Shortly after that dream, in March of 2008, my wife and I were asked to start a “non-traditional” Salvation Army corps (church) and if we had any ideas how we might do that. We shared the open format model from the dream and they gave us the go ahead to set up a new corps like that.
And we’re still doing it every Sunday in Nashville. At The Salvation Army Berry Street, rather than a 1-man sermon, ordinary people show and tell what God has done, as they feel led by the Spirit. Every Sunday is different. And every Sunday is a powerful experience. Come see for yourself: Sunday mornings @ 10:45 & Tuesday nights @ 6:00, 225 Berry Street, Nashville 37207.
Read more in my book: Beyond Church — An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible, available at Amazon.