— The Phantom Commandment Challenge —
The Phantom Commandment says: “Church shall contain a one-man sermon.” However, I can’t find it anywhere in the Bible. Can you find the Phantom Commandment (or any statement that resembles it) in the Bible?
It’s difficult to see God working when people silently sit in a church service, however, when they share and show what God has done (as prompted by the Spirit), the sounds and sights shine like neon signs and show God’s glory! Participatory church reveals tremendous treasures hidden in humble human hearts as regular people share their insights and inspiration. Here are 3 quotations that back up my point!
“Why have our gatherings become centered around a sermon? Why does the body of Christ, the royal priesthood, sit passively listening to the same person speak week after week? There is nothing wrong with a good sermon. But are we missing out on something better?” –Jonathan Hutton
“Our churches are still structured in such a way that we do it to them, not inviting them to create worship with us. So, if that’s the case, there’s really no space for people who’ve been formed by our participatory culture in our churches.” –Dr. Ryan Bolger
“Leonard Sweet urged pastors to wander into the Sunday morning congregation and engage the people in interactive preaching. He alleged it is the ‘height of arrogance’ to believe that ‘God has given me a sermon to give to you, but you don’t have your own sermon to throw on the table.’ He said churches need to embrace the shift from performance to participation.” –Thom Schultz
And one more quote from the only Christian denomination I’ve ever found, that doesn’t obey the 1-man sermon, Phantom Commandment — the Quakers:
“The Quaker ‘Meeting For Worship‘ is a form of church service that has no fixed, prearranged character. People gather at the appointed time ‘on the basis of silence.’ Out of their silent waiting may flow spiritual messages, vocal prayer, Bible reading, or ministry — from anyone who feels called to participate.” –Richmond P. Miller