Sermons are not enough! We need more!

No sermon can ever compare to having your heart ablaze with the living Jesus! “Church shall have a sermon,” is not the 11th Commandment. In fact, it isn’t a commandment at all!

Christianity isn’t about a man teaching a weekly religious lesson. It’s about daily obeying Jesus! I’ve never been much convicted by a sermon; but the Holy Spirit frequently convicts me to change my thoughts, words, & behaviors.

Jesus told His disciples, “Go…preach,” not “Go hear a preacher.” If your heart’s on fire with the risen Jesus you don’t want to hear a formal talk about Him. You want to tell the world about Him! Biblically, it looks to me like preaching was to share the Gospel with unbelievers. But believers met to minister to one another.

Even the very best sermons can’t do the work of the Holy Spirit! Christians need to listen directly to and obey the Spirit! Tell me and I forget. Help me listen to & obey the Spirit and I’m transformed! It’s educational to be taught information about Jesus; but it is life-changing to humbly interact with Him.

If hearing a sermon makes you brag about the preacher, something went off track. There are plenty of churches where you can hear a sermon, but where can you experience open sharing based on 1 Corinthians 14:26.

Why won’t churches offer an alternative to those who want something besides the sermon-based church format? Miracles happen when people fall back & obey Mary’s words about Jesus: “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (Try it & see!) An alternative to sermon-based church: 1) Gather in Jesus’ name; 2) All listen to Him; 3) All say and/or do what He tells them to.

By “gather in My name” I think Jesus means to meet & to focus our minds & hearts on Him & on His supernatural presence among us. When a group surrenders total control of a church meeting completely to the risen Jesus, He takes the wheel & does amazing things!

Some people act like they think that the risen Jesus isn’t capable of running a worship meeting all by Himself. Of course He is! If Jesus can run the Universe, how hard is it for Him to run a worship meeting without a human program?

The “God-tells-the-preacher-and-he-tells-the-church” model, puts the preacher between you and God. To make one person in church “the expert” is to make everyone else dependent on him. If you’re a Christian you have direct access to the living Jesus & don’t need to go through a preacher.

God wanted to personally be Israel’s King, but they wanted a man instead. Today Jesus wants to be the Head. Will we let Him?

Would you rather hang out with a celebrity; or listen to me lecture about him or her?
Hang out with the risen Jesus!

Support groups (like AA) trust people to share responsibly and meet without a sermon. So why can’t church? Is this a contradiction? The Bible says “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,” but church makes them sit and listen. Jesus said, “Shout it from the house tops,” but we prefer to hear it in the church house.

Why does Christianity in the New Testament look so different than it does in church? The New Testament calls Christ-followers “a royal priesthood,” acknowledging all believers to be priests. There is no laity. The term “lay Christian” is an oxymoron. All Christ-followers are called to courageously stand up for and obey Jesus.

To force expressive Christ-followers to fit quietly & submissively into a passive “service” is to quench the Holy Spirit! Where’s the fire, the passion, the spontaneity in modern Western Christianity? It’s gone because it doesn’t fit the program! Church lethargy makes me sad. Liturgy usually leaves me lethargic, but the presence of the living Jesus fills me with spiritual life!

If we are afraid to put down our program & let the Holy Spirit lead a church service, how can we trust the Spirit in daily life? To follow God’s order of worship we need to go beyond our programs!

When you love someone you want to spend time with them, not to hear a lecture about them. I love Jesus!

For fear of fanaticism we forsake God’s fire for familiar formalism. Instead of letting God’s fire burn freely in church, it’s easy to stomp it out with the program. It’s easier to tone down a fanatic than to fire up a bored spectator. Fired up Jesus fans aren’t good pew-sitters. They are overflowing with spiritual insights they need to share from their heart! If Christ is in you, let Him flow out. Don’t dam up His living water.

How was Christianity reduced to merely attending a weekly religious lecture? Church should overflow with Christ’s power, not just entertain us for an hour.

Christian ceremonies without the experience of the actual presence of the risen Jesus are “a form of godliness” without the power. However, when Jesus is truly obeyed and adored, no one will be bored! Jesus rose to release spiritual flows; not so we can passively sit in rows!

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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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