Your heart’s condition is more important than how you worship . . .

heart right with God

The most important thing in worship . . .
–Writing about Christ-followers meeting according to 1 Corinthians 14:26 where ordinary people are free to share as they feel prompted by the Spirit, I can get overly enthusiastic and perhaps come on too strong. Today, I am reminded that the way that we worship is not the most important thing.
–When Christ-followers gather for worship, our hearts are the key. If our hearts are not surrendered to and obedient to God, then the way that we worship doesn’t much matter.

How to get your heart right?

You are built
To receive God-texts
They appear on the
Iphone of your heart.
Read and do them.
Don’t ignore or delete them.

The first step in going “beyond church” is to get and keep a right heart with God! More in the book Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia

Posted in church format, church organization, church program, church programming, contemporary church, control in church, going to church, how to do church, how to get involved in church, kinds of church, making church interesting, messy church, religiious texting, rethinking church, seeker-church, texting, texting in church, the perfect church, types of church, Uncategorized, What is church?, worship planning, worship service, worship wars | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is a “spiritless boredom” the norm for church?

revival book

Here are some powerful quotes from The Coming World Revival by Robert E. Coleman:

“God’s people everywhere increasingly yearn for something more in the life of the church. We go through the motions of religion, but there is no power. For many the thrill of personal devotion is gone. The joy of the Lord has leaked out; there is no spring in our step, no shout in our soul. A spiritless boredom is the norm.”

“The distinction between clergy and laity dose not appear in the New Testament at all. Moreover, the word minister may be applied to anyone who ministers, regardless of the secular mode of employment.”

Coleman quotes Leighton Ford: “A church which bottlenecks its outreach by depending upon its specialists–its pastors or evangelists to do its witnessing–is living in violation of both the intention of its Head and the consistent pattern of the early Christians.”

“Programs, techniques, campaigns, and the like are utterly useless unless the people who work the schemes are under the control of the Holy Spirit.”

“Are we completely open to the Spirit’s direction?”

“Half-hearted, weak-kneed, compromising obedience will never challenge a sleeping church to rise up .”

“Someone must show the love of God bursting forth in redemptive concern for the world; the beauty of holiness must be incarnated in human personality. People respond to a demonstration of revival, not an explanation. You be that person!”

If you would like to learn how to have a demonstration of revival, not an explanation, check out my book Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible.

Posted in beauty of holiness, Billy Graham, boredom in church, challenge to pastors, clergy, clergy laity, compromise, evangelists, joy of the Lord, laity, Leighton Ford, overcoming boredom, pastors, Robert E. Coleman, The Coming World Revival, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Christ-followers are called out to be Christ’s City Council

Jesus said (in the original Greek) “I will build My ekklesia.” Ekklesia was the city council in Greek city-states. (The Greek word literally means called out ones. The Greeks chose it as the name for their city council because citizens were called out to conduct city business.) It does not mean church. Thus it would be translated: “I will build My city council and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

Church meetings tend to be controlled by human concerns. Jesus “rebuked Peter” saying; “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Mark 8:33)
–What about us? When we gather for worship, do we listen to Christ and let Him run the meeting in whatever way He wants to? Or do we simply follow human concerns that we are very comfortable with — a prescribed format and that has been done for centuries — call to worship, songs, announcements, offering, Bible reading, sermon, benediction?

Now let’s replace the word church with the English meaning of ekklesia (Christ’s city council) in some other New Testament verses. (It’s interesting that Jesus didn’t say He would build His sanhedrin or synagogue but chose a Greek word instead.)

Christ's city council

“Paul, Silas and Timothy, To Christ’s city council of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.” 1 Thessalonians 1:1

“To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to Christ’s city council that meets in your home.” –Philemon 1:1

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved His city council and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant city council, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” –Ephesians 5:25-27

“He is the Head of the body, His city council.” –Colossians 1:18

“For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the  city council of God and tried to destroy it.” –Galatians 1:13

“As for zeal, persecuting Christ’s city council.” –Philippians 3:6

“Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and Christ’s city council in her house.” –Colossians 4:15

“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of Christ’s city council to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.” –James 5:14-15

“If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the city council of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” –1 Timothy 3:15

“If they still refuse to listen, tell it to Christ’s city council; and if they refuse to listen
even to Christ’s city council, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” –Matthew 18:17

Learn more about Christ’s city council and how it is called to operate in the book Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia available on Amazon at this link.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Beyond Church, Bible quotations, Bible verses, called out ones, church elders, city council meeting, Divine healing, faith healing, gifts of healing, Greek, Greek city-states, Greek New Testament, Head of the church, husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church, I will build my church, Matthew 16:18, On this rock I will build My church, organic church, the gates of hell, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grace replaces the old with the new

Grace makes new

It it doesn’t
Replace your place,
It’s not grace.
If it doesn’t
Replace your pace,
It’s not grace.
If it doesn’t
Replace your face,
It’s not grace.
A place beyond
Distant from God
To intimacy with God.
A pace beyond
Racing after accomplishment,
Chasing after things,
To walking in spiritual peace.
A face beyond
Sad and stressed
To serene and blessed.
Got grace?

2-Corinthians-5-17

Grace is a famous word from the New Testament. There is another word from the New Testament, however, that most people have never heard of–ekklesia. I call it the lost word of the Bible. Check it out here.

Posted in 2 Corinthians 5:17, a new creature, all things have become new, Amazing Grace, Bible, conditional grace, extreme grace, for by grace your are saved, full of grace and truth, gives grace to the humble, God's grace, grace definition, grace greater than all my sin, grace of God, growing in grace, if any man is in Christ, If grace is an ocean, living in grace, New Testament, old things have passed away, saved by grace, saving grace, Uncategorized, understanding grace, what is grace | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The ministry of the Holy Spirit

Have you experienced the glorious ministry of the Holy Spirit?
–The Bible says that the ministry of the Spirit is greater than the glory on Mt. Sinai as the mountain burned and Moses’ face glowed!

“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?” –2 Corinthians 3:7-8

–One of the ways that the ministry of the Spirit is manifest in the ekklesia (the gathered body of Christ) is by the Spirit prompting various people to share Scriptures, testimonies, prayer requests, exhortations, gifts of the Spirit, prayers, short teachings, etc. and it all comes together in a glorious array. Paul explains this further in 1 Corinthians 14:26.
–It is an awesome thing to experience the Spirit manifesting His presence in such a way. Deep inside of us there is a longing for it.

For many millennia people have been trying to fulfill that longing through religion (and for much of the past two millennia through church.)   However, things have changed in the post-Christian 21st Century. Millions of individuals and almost all of our culture have given up on religion and/or church. Here are three categories in our post-Christian world:

1) Dones are dechurched — burned out on church and not attending anymore.
2) Nones are unchurched — never been regular church attenders.
3) Beyonds are alterchurched — seeking and experimenting with alternatives to traditional church such as organic/simple church, house church, and the New Testament concept of ekklesia. They can also be called altarchurched — basing worship on the ministry of the Spirit — everyday people hearing directly from Jesus and then saying or doing whatever He tells them to.
Have you experienced the ministry of the Spirit freely working in and through a group of Christ-followers? The ministry of the Spirit happens when we go beyond human programming and allow the living, resurrected Jesus to personally direct the meeting. It’s truly amazing. Learn to go beyond the natural and into the supernatural by releasing the ministry of the Spirit. More here.
beyonds

 

Posted in 2 Corinthians, alternative Christianity, alternative church, Beyonds, church burn out, dechurched, ekklesia, glory of God, house church, It's Supernatural, nones, organic chruch, simple church, supernatural, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When God steps out into the open

People can hide from God in church, however, ekklesia brings God out into the open. Ekklesia is an adventure of the spiritual kind. It’s never the same, always exciting, and deeply moving. If you need some excitement in your life, you need to experience ekklesia!

got ekklesia? Sometimes you gotta go beyond church to get the best blessings! Beyond your past and beyond church, God has a great purpose for you!

“There is plenty of room at the top because very few people care to travel beyond the average route. And so most of us seem satisfied to remain within the confines of mediocrity.” –Nnamdi Azikiwe

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” –Albert Einstein

Unless you go beyond church as you have known it, you may miss much of what God has for you.

“God wants us to risk our faith, see beyond ourselves, and expect the unexpected.” –David L. McKenna, President Emeritus of Asbury Theological Seminary

* Step out in risky faith. * Get beyond yourself. * Experience the unprogrammed and the unexpected in ekklesia!

ekklesia asbury quote

Here are two ways to learn more about ekklesia:

  1. Read the book Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia available available at this link.
  2. Visit The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN 37207 on Sunday mornings at 10:45 am., where ordinary people show and tell what God has done as they are prompted by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Posted in Albert Einstein, David L. McKenna, faith, faith-based, hiding from God, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Quotations, Quotes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment
–“Nones have said, “No church.”
–“Dones” have said, “Goodbye, church.”
–“Beyonds” have said, “Hello, ekklesia!”
nones and dones

For those who want to reach the “Nones, the “Dones,” and the “Beyonds:”
–Peter and John, whom the Bible calls “unschooled, ordinary men,” said: “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
–What would happen if our church services allowed ordinary Christ-followers time to do the same thing? Ekklesia would break out and we would see the book of Acts all over again!
–What will happen if we continue to make ordinary people be silent in church? The church will continue to decline and produce more and more “Nones,” “Dones,” and “Beyonds!” (Sociologist Josh Packard uses the terms “church refugees” and “dechurched.”)

A BEYOND Acrostic

Beyond church in
Ekklesia
You will be
Overcome with
New insights and
Delights.

 

 

Posted in alternative Christianity, alternative church, Beyond Church, book of Acts, ekklesia, people leaving church, Peter and John, the things that we have seen and heard, Uncategorized, We cannot help but speak | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment