For centuries churches have trained ordinary people to hide the light that shines in their heart (“Christ in you, the hope of glory”). They have been taught to sit back, be quiet, and let a professional tell them how they should think about God.
However, Jesus taught the opposite. Jesus commanded: “You (Christ-followers) are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” –Matthew 5:14-16
Here is an example of obedience to Jesus’ command: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” –Acts 4:13
When “ordinary” people are allowed and encouraged to open up, be courageous, and share the light that is shinning in them, people are “astonished.” This kind of astonishing open sharing and testimony is not just something confined to the Bible. It happens every Sunday morning in Nashville, Tennessee at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry Street, 37207 at 10:45 — as everyday people show and tell what God has done.
Perhaps the declining Western church needs to let ordinary people light up the house! Even Socrates believed amazing things would happen if ordinary people were allowed to share their light!