Perhaps church could focus on developing determined disciples rather than on sustaining submissive spectators. Determined disciples overcome their issues, hang-ups, and addictions and transform the world around them through their obedience to the power and presence of Christ actively flowing through their lives. Submissive spectators simply sit still for a Sunday church service.
Determined disciples gather for worship in order to engage in spiritual warfare and to minister to one another as led by the Spirit. Submissive spectators go to church to be passively “fed” by someone else.
The one-man-does-all-the-teaching model of church will never transform submissive spectators into determined disciples. Like Seneca said, “Men learn what they teach.” Mark Batterson put it this way: “I’ve forgotten most of the sermons I’ve every heard and that’s a little depressing as a preacher.” Determined disciples are developed through direct connection and interaction with the living Jesus in a body of obedient Christ-followers, not through being “fed” mere information about Jesus.
“Mandatory systems of religious thought” may sustain submissive spectators. However, developing determined disciples requires that people be allowed the freedom in worship meetings to actively follow and obey the “liberating sense of God’s transforming presence.”
Barry L. Callen put it this way: “We should be suspicious whenever there is a preoccupation with elaborate and mandatory systems of religious thought that fail to engage the whole person with an active and liberating sense of God’s transforming presence.”