Catherine Booth shows that participatory (organic) church is in the DNA of The Salvation Army:
“People contend that we must have quiet, proper, decorous services. I say, Where is your authority for this? I defy any man to show it. I have a great deal more authority for such a lively, gushing, spontaneous, and what you call disorderly , service, as our Salvation Army services sometimes are, in the fourteenth chapter of First Corinthians than you can find for yours. The best insight we have into the internal working of a religious service in apostolic times is in this chapter, and I ask you, Is it anything like the ordinary services of today? Here is abundant evidence that these Corinthian converts had opportunity to witness for Jesus, each one to give forth the gushing utterance of his soul, and tell other people of the experience which the Holy Ghost had wrought in him. Read your New Testament and you will be struck with the amazing amount of evidence for this unconventional kind of service. When shall Peters and Marys be so filled with the Spirit that they cannot help telling what God has done for them? The way in which our Lord is going to gather out His great and glorious kingdom in these latter days is by the power of testimony in the Holy Ghost. The Master Himself adopted these very measures.” –Catherine Booth in “The Highway of Our God” published in 1986 by The Salvation Army Southern Territory USA.
“I propose a move forward to our roots . . . To move forward to our roots requires radical reconstruction. We need to be renewed, refocused, and reorganized.” –Major Stephen Court of The Salvation Army in Armybarmy Blog.
Perhaps churches are full of people who ought to and need to be teaching one another in church meetings, instead of just sitting and listening to a professional teacher each week. “Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.” –Hebrews 5:12 (Also, see 1 Corinthians 14:26.)
If you are in the Nashville area and would like to experience the freedom to testify in church, visit us at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, Tennessee 37207 on Sunday mornings at 10:45.
Perhaps it is time to courageously and boldly take a risk and step into participatory/organic church!