Church sometimes seems like staring an hour at one card, while leaving the rest of the deck in the box. However, when a preacher holds all the cards on Sunday morning, it tends to shut down the rest of the congregation. God deals many different hands, but church seems to play the same one every Sunday.
In church, the deck appears to be stacked, because ordinary people don’t get to play their hand. That’s because church plays with marked cards. One is marked “pastor” and all the rest are marked “layman.”
Perhaps pastors don’t need to be card sharks and control the deck. Maybe we could let the Holy Spirit be the dealer, instead.
Perhaps church puts too much emphasis on one card (“the pastor”) and leaves the rest of the cards on the table or even in the box. When a pastor does all the ministry, church isn’t playing with a full deck. Maybe it’s time to shuffle the cards. (In the pic with this post, the King of Clubs represents the pastor, the king of the club. You can also see a pair of hands shuffling a deck. I believe that is what God wants to do with the traditional way the body of Christ usually meets.)
Sometimes church feels like the deck is stacked to resist the Holy Spirit. Too often church is like a man playing solitaire, with many spectators. Perhaps, instead, church could lay all the cards on the table and let the Holy Spirit shuffle and deal them His way. (See 1 Corinthians 14:26.)
If Christians will meet and let the Holy Spirit shuffle the cards, we’ll see Him do
amazing things! However, if churches become clubs and no longer call a spade a spade, hearts become as hard as diamonds in the rough.
So what do all these card ideas mean? Before God, every person must play her/his own hand. A preacher can’t play yours for you!
Perhaps the body of Christ needs to meet as a team instead of as a one man show. When church is deprived of spontaneity, routine takes over and the hand is fixed. Then the risen Jesus tends be replaced by ritual. However, if church would meet to do Spirit-directed spiritual warfare as a team, we could change the world.