Make church a support group, not an audience for a lecture

Church pumps people full of Christian ideas, but offers little (or no) daily support or accountability in living out those ideas. However, the Holy Spirit can be trusted to lead a worship meeting without a human controlling it. I’ve seen it hundreds of times.

The chain of command in the body of Christ flows directly from Jesus to you without going thru a hierarchy. However, sermon-based church is so widespread that even the mention of support-group-style church makes people uncomfortable.

Modern Christianity focuses on meetings in religious buildings, but early Christians focused on daily following the risen Jesus. I believe the early Christians met to encourage one another, confide in one another, and experience the risen Jesus in each other.

If something can be done without Jesus’ active involvement, it won’t demonstrate His living reality. Jesus isn’t dead or departed. He, Himself, said that He is present and powerful!

A church service can be so finely planned and organized that the Holy Spirit isn’t necessary to conduct it. A Sunday sermon is a one-size fits all approach to Christianity. Allowing anyone to share, lets the Spirit adapt the meeting. I love it when Christians meet to do the stuff taught in the Bible (not just to hear a talk about it).

When Christians are given no guidance or training to practice what they hear in a sermon, they learn not to practice it. Members of the body of Christ don’t just need sermons about the Head. We need to daily listen to and obey Christ our Head.

It’s hard to take a lesson from a sermon and live it by yourself. Christians need to actively minister to and encourage one another. Always listening to the same person’s sermons can deprive us of the God-given wisdom of other members of the body of Christ. People don’t always need a sermon. Sometimes they need to share what God is doing in their life and listen to others share as well.

Support groups empower people to connect heart-to-heart as they open up to each other with compassion and love. Why not church? So much is missed by training people to be silent in church. The mutual support they could provide one another is shut down. According to James 1:22, sermon-hearing without Bible-doing is self-deceiving.

Perhaps church puts too much emphasis on a sermon and too little on surrendered hearts. William Booth called “religion without the Holy Ghost,” a “chief danger.” It’s a danger embraced by much of modern Christianity.

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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