The Bible never said: “When you come together, everyone sits quietly and listens to the same man speak, week after week.” However, the Bible did say: “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.” –1 Corinthians 14:26
–Perhaps we should ask ourselves a question. Why are most worship meetings set up the way the Bible didn’t say, instead of the way the Bible did say?
–Is it because of effectiveness? Jeff Hurt in a recent issue of Meeting magazine wrote: “Lecture formats dominate traditional conference programming (and traditional church services). Unfortunately, brain-based research suggests that lectures are the worst way to deliver information and educate people. We need to find a better way.”
–Jeff also said: “We assume that scheduling a speaker, putting him or her on a stage and having them talk captures the audience’s attention. In doing so, we confuse passive listening with engagement and focus. Look closer at those audience members. They’re just sleeping with their eyes open.” That doesn’t sound very effective!
–Maybe the reason that we set church services up in the “lecture format” and limit people to “passive listening” is tradition. “That’s just the way it’s done!” But is there a better way?
–The Bible never said that there are two classes of Christ-followers: the professional class called clergy that lectures, and the amateur class called laity that passively listens. However, the Bible does say that all Christ-followers are priests. 1 Peter 2:5 says that “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” That passage goes on to say, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession that you (plural, as in yall) may proclaim the excellences of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
–The Bible never said to sit and listen. It said: “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.”
–The Bible never quotes Jesus as saying “I will build My church.” It quotes Him as saying, “I will build My ekklesia.” However, most English language Bible translations have switched-out the New Testament word, ekklesia, for the English word, church, and thus altered the meaning. Church is a building or organization that holds religious meetings. Ekklesia was the city council of ancient Greek city-states. To read more about this important difference, go to this link.
— The Bible never said that a man can be the head of a church. It said that Jesus is the “head of the body, the ekklesia.” (Colossians 1:18.)
–Perhaps it is time we get back to the ekklesia — back to the Bible.
–Emmanuel wants to take us beyond church to ekklesia! Check out the new book, Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible, available in paperback and kindle on Amazon.