Guess Who Came From Arkansas 2 Visit Nashville’s Berry Street?

A Facebook friend, William Pratt, wrote this about his visit to a participatory worship service at The Salvation Army Berry Street:

Last fall my wife and I had the privilege of visiting a church in Nashville, TN on a Sunday morning. The entire service consisted of one testimony after another. The pastor delivered a very short message then turned his microphone over to anyone who wished to testify or bring forth an insight from scripture. Instead of a single sermon delivered by the pastor, we heard a dozen sermons about living the Spirit life on the streets, at work, in homes, schools and neighborhoods.

That church is Berry Street Salvation Army and the extraordinary pastor who encourages congregational participation is Steve Simms. He is to be congratulated for taking a church that was losing membership and community influence and turning it into a beacon for the lost, lonely, disenfranchised, abused and hurting. Through the participatory church format immense strides have been made to bring relevance into the lives of many who could otherwise have been lost and wasted.

I remember approaching the pastor of a church we attended not long ago about inviting more participation in the worship services and his response amazed me. He believed the people were not ready for it. He was concerned about losing control and having all sorts of unbiblical messages coming forth. Yet, Pastor Simms at the Berry Street church leaves everything in the hands of the Holy Spirit and nothing happens that is not Spirit controlled.

Let’s encourage our pastors throughout Christendom to bring back Testimony Time. For those whose churches never left it, bravo to you. Then, of course, we must be ready to give testimony of all that God is doing in our lives. Testimony time is important and we must not allow it to become extinct.

(Visit us one Sunday morning at 10:45 — 225 Berry St., Nashville 37207.)

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @ http://amzn.to/2nCr5dP
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11 Responses to Guess Who Came From Arkansas 2 Visit Nashville’s Berry Street?

  1. David says:

    great testimony Steve!! awesome.

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  11. docguy89 says:

    Steve,
    Great postings and insight into what the Lord is willing to do. Please send a PM for further discussion.

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