Two days after finishing the final edit of a new book I have written, Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible, my wife and I were watching a TV series from the 90s. Suddenly there was a scene that showed a group of people in a church meeting going beyond church by honestly opening up to one another and sharing what was really on their heart.
It was a scene from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. The episode is called End of the World. In the late 1860s, after seeing an article in the New York Times that said that a comet was coming close enough to destroy the earth, the people of Colorado Springs, Colorado become convinced that the world would end in three days.
After trying various, unsuccessful ways to cope with such devastating news, many of the people wound up in church together. However, instead of a typical, preacher controlled meeting, they went beyond church and moved into open sharing and participation. It’s a beautiful scene that shows the power of simple church (ekklesia) to release love, healing, and heart-felt community in a group of people.
However, you don’t have to watch the End of the World episode to learn more about simple church. You can; 1) Simply gather with two or three or more Christ-followers, set aside human agendas and programs, and allow anybody present to share as they feel prompted by the Holy Spirit: 2) Search and read about ekklesia in this blog; 3) Come visit The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, Tennessee where we experience simple church every Sunday morning at 10:45; 4) Read my book, Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible, which will be available through Amazon around the first of December, 2015.
Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman is a CBS television series starring Jane Seymour that ran for six seasons, from January 1, 1993 to May 16, 1998. Since then Dr. Quinn reruns have been shown in syndication and on ABC Family (formerly The Family Channel), the Hallmark Channel, Ion Television (formerly PAX-TV), Eleven, gmc, UP, INSP, and CBS Drama. It has been shown in more than 100 countries.
(Another example of simple church being shown in contemporary media is the Max Lucado movie, The Christmas Candle.)