McKay Books confirms nontraditional church in Nashville

While walking into McKay Books in Nashville on May 5, I saw a book, New Day, on top of the free-bin & grabbed it. YOU WON’T BELIEVE THESE QUOTES FROM IT THAT CONFIRM WHAT WE DO AT THE SALVATION ARMY BERRY STREET!

–“Recover the original purpose of the Christian assemblies–which is not found in rituals or ritualism, but is instead found in the commitment to build up one another in love.”
–“What we call ‘worship services’ they called ‘gatherings,’ ‘assemblies,’ or just ‘fellowship.’ And this matters because the two concepts imply very different things.”
–“When we restore our assemblies to their original purpose of building up, teaching, and encouraging each other, awesome things can happen.”
–“The assemblies can be intimate and almost like a round table . . . to maximize the horizontal purposes of the gathering.”
–“When I say they met together in devotion and fellowship, you think one thing. When I say they met together for a worship service, you think another. The former is biblical. The latter is not in the Bible. The former implies a sharing environment, give and take, fluidity, joy, fewer rules. It is horizontal–about building up one another. The latter implies a stiff environment, a program, rituals, ceremony, lots of rules. The latter is vertical–about performing sacred acts before God. The former is in the New Testament. The latter is not.” (Learn more about “Christian assemblies” at this link.)

I posted the above on Facebook. Later someone posted this comment:

“I’ve seen your posts for years, and have never seen anything about McKay. Today was the first time I had ever been there. Took a 4 hour round trip just to go there and it was almost like a spiritual experience for me. And then as soon as I get home I get a notification about this post.”

I love how God does incredible things like that, that are so against normal odds of ever happening, and you know it can only be God’s work and His timing. Perhaps your reading this post is something God has done.

Come and experience The Salvation Army Berry Street every Sunday morning at 10:45, 225 Berry St., Nashville 37207.
berry street building

Posted in Berry Street, Beyond Church, ekklesia, facebook, Salvation Army, Salvation Army Berry Street, Salvation Army Nashville, Uncategorized, unchurching, unconference | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bottom line & personal (the real deal)

The real “bottom line” is your spiritual condition, not your financial condition. You’re true “net worth” is what you possess after everything material is gone. Pursuing Jesus is a game changer. Life’s never the same when you put Him first. When Jesus is living inside a person, it shows on the outside. If you’ve had an electric shock, you know it. If you’ve ever met Jesus, you know it.

A body of believers relating together can often reflect Jesus better than one person can alone. When Jesus-followers collaborate in humility, they open the floodgate of His love. Roles in the body of Christ should be assigned by the Holy Spirit. “The priesthood of the believer” gives all Christ-followers the same status.

The body of Christ is more than assembled spectators observing a performance. If people’s only role in a church service, is to be a spectator, they have no role. Instead of over dependence on a pastor, we need excessive dependence on the Spirit. Centralized control can collapse a church’s creativity. Religious cruse control keeps things going the same pace. Christ-control releases creativity. Don’t try to understand & control Jesus. Let Him control you & be your Lord & Master. People try to figure God out when they can’t figure themselves out. Just love Him.

Unfortunately, group norms can compel us to quench the Spirit, who often leads beyond the usual. To keep Jesus contained on a tight leash is to miss the power of His presence! Without open interaction a group becomes a gathering of spectators. Christianity began with the dynamics and power of Spirit-led, group interaction. Church is a group under a chain-of-command. Ekklesia is a group of Christian friends. Ekklesia releases Heaven’s ecosystem.

Interact with the ecosystem in this picture. Can you find two birds hidden in it? (The answer is below the pic.)

Beyond church birds at Cloudland

After taking this pic, I noticed a few things. In the top left hand quarter I see a shadow of a bird perched on a rock and right beside the bird, a shadow of Jesus walking by. In the bottom left hand quarter I see a small bird made out of rock. And of course, there’s an interesting book at the bottom. (“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” –Jesus) Get Beyond Church @ http://amzn.to/2qCqo4O

When desire tells you
To do something wrong,
Time to be strong.
Resist all day long!

Dream noble dreams,
Work hard to make them real,
And let God do the rest!

Let’s go beyond mental theological study to experiential encounters with Jesus! Perhaps we can repackage Christian theology as a lifestyle, not just as information. A balloon low on helium is pulled down. So also is a Christian low on the risen Christ.

It’s easy to let trust in theological concepts take the place of the risen Jesus. Don’t do that! Without genuine spiritual formation, theology is only religious information. Theological discernment is both a gift of the Spirit & a mental comprehension of Scripture.

Physical homelessness is bad. So is spiritual homelessness. I found home with Jesus. I want to see beyond whatever is blocking my view of God. Christianity is all about seeing and surrendering to the living Jesus! More than biological desires; we have spiritual longings only Christ can fulfill.

Grace is like a base on balls. It’s free, but you still have to run the bases. “Salvation” is to be delivered from rebellion and reconciled to God by Jesus Christ. Run, baby run!

You can’t buy inner peace. but Jesus bought it for you & offers it to you as a gift. Take the gift and boldly carry it forward!

Posted in choice of lifestyle, Christian, Christian blogs, church, ecosystem, group dynamics, lifestyles, money, organic chruch, small groups, spiritual visions, support groups, theology, Uncategorized, vision | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A dummy without a ventriloquist

Jesus is a ventriloquist. Will you be His dummy? (Matthew 10:20) Christ’s ventriloquism happens when ordinary people speak as led by the Spirit. “Christianity for Dummies”–Open your mouth and let Christ the Ventriloquist fill it with His words! –Psalm 81:10 (Learn how to start a Jesus’ Ventriloquist Group here.)

Paul Winchell said: “Ventriloquism today is in a slump.” That’s also true about Jesus’ ventriloquism through everyday people. Perhaps it’s time to let Jesus speak through you! (If Christ lives in you, then He can speak through you. Will you let Him?)

When ordinary Christians speak humbly, from the heart, the words of Christ come out. If we hold back the words of Jesus, we’re like a ventriloquist’s dummy with lockjaw.

Just saying what Jesus puts in your mouth is to flow with God’s words. To be a ventriloquist’s dummy in Jesus’ hands, is to speak with love & wisdom! Jesus’ ventriloquist dummies speak amazing words that surpass the wisdom of the wise.

Christians have been trained to sit in silence and passively listen to a speaker, however, Jesus said; “Speak in the light.” But don’t be a nominal Christian. Let Jesus be phenomenal in you!

A head faith’s not enough. We need Jesus “living on the inside roaring like a lion.” Perhaps the traditional form of church as a religious program to be watched by an audience has kept Christianity behind a fence. Maybe it’s time to go beyond church as usual.

Interactive, Spirit-led activity is more powerful than spectator passivity. Sitting on the premises is not the same as walking out God’s promises together. Jesus never said; “Come, be an audience.” He said; “Come, follow Me.”

Too many keep Jesus in the past or the future, and ignore Him in the present moment. Go beyond Jesus as history & religion to the living, present Jesus.

Let’s meet & let the Great Ventriloquist speak through all His dummies, not just one of them. At The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, ordinary people let Jesus the Ventriloquist speak through them. Come see on Sundays at 10:45 am., 225 Berry St., 37207.

Jesus came to heal the missed up; not to thrill the dressed up. Don’t tolerate emotional pain. Take it to Jesus & be healed. Many people redefine Jesus according to their likes. Instead let Jesus redefine you.

Christ in you will be consistent with Christ in the writers of the Bible. The Bible’s words will heal your heart, but only if you read it:

Go ahead
Take a peek
In God’s Book;
You’ll see Christ’s real
If you’ll take a look.

ventriloquist dummy

Without Christ we’re like a dummy without a ventriloquist. Be a ventriloquist dummy for Jesus. Let Him move you & speak through you.

Posted in Christian, Christian ventriloquism, how to throw your voice, living on the inside roaring like a lion, Paul Winchell quote, puppet ministry, Salvation Army, Salvation Army Nashville, The Salvation Army, Uncategorized, ventriloquy | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Army Is Not An Audience!

Meeting to wait on the Lord is different than meeting to follow a program. However, meeting that way is off the beaten path of religious Christianity. The body of Christ is called to assemble as an army actively obeying its Commander — the risen Jesus — not just as an audience.

The Kingdom of God has a powerful army, “fighting the good fight of faith.” Are you an active part of God’s army? The Kingdom Of God first; above all other nations. (Matthew 6:33)

Jesus is like a power outlet. To receive His power we must plug in & let His current freely flow through us when we gather for worship and when we are alone.

Don’t just sit and mope; get up and hope! Many surrender to drugs to try & feel good. I surrender to Jesus & feel great! Getting on the innernet and live streaming Jesus is amazing! There’s no better addiction than addiction to spending time with the risen Jesus! Follow & obey the risen, biblical Jesus; not “another Jesus.” (2 Corinthians 11:4)

Christ-followers are called
Beyond self-expression
To Christ-expression!

For ekklesia:
* Come together;
* Listen to the Spirit;
* Let people share what they hear.

Ekklessia express: Everyday people expressing what the Spirit is saying. To return to ekklesia is to release the free flow of the Spirit. The mistranslation of “ekklesia” as “church” has caused considerable confusion in Christianity. Jesus chose to call the gathering of His body “ekklesia” which was the name of the city council in Greek city/states, where any citizen could attend and have an equal voice with any other citizen. More at http://amzn.to/2pbrciY.

Spiritual formation is not a study, but a long-term experiential process. Christianity has neglected soul refreshing, a time to actually drink of Christ’s living water. Sometimes we need Jesus to goose us to drink from His living water.
Jesus Trevecca

Posted in addiction, another Jesus, Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, Christianity with Power, demonstration of the Spirit's power, God demonstrations, God's army, God's power, innernet, living water, Matthew 6:33, overcoming addiction, rivers of living water, Salvation Army, seek ye first, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Group dynamics & community meetings

Group dynamics is the process of people in a group interacting with one another. When one person controls a meeting it completely shuts down group dynamics.

Let’s go beyond merely instructing spectators to facilitating good group dynamics. Group dynamics are unprogrammed, unscripted, and free flowing. When group dynamics are shut down, a group becomes a passive audience.

God’s Spirit seeks to release positive group dynamics in a gathering of believers. Jesus manifests His presence when there is freedom for Spirit-led group dynamics. Group dynamics (interactions between people) can invigorate a church service. When a meeting of Christ-followers has good group dynamics even the shy get involved.

When Christians have an interactive, community meeting, their risen Leader shows up! A Christ-community meeting engages people with the risen Jesus & with one another.

Let’s let Jesus have the floor! To meet & be directly led by God is different than to meet & be taught about God. A talk about God is nothing like a group encounter with God.

The body of Christ needs Spirit-led community engagement meetings! When Christians meet for mutual support & love, they strengthen one another. After all, the New Testament is all about group dynamics in Christ’s body. It’s full of “one anothers.” Christians are called to meet for “one anothering”–heartfelt “sister & brothering.”

God-driven group dynamics return us to the Greek New Testament concept of ekklesia. My first experience of ekklesia transformed me from an agnostic to a Jesus-lover.

Ekklesia leads a group of people into the dynamic of God’s spiritual dimension. Ekklesia releases abundant life — the beauty of life shared in community. True ekklesia brings the fortunate and the unfortunate together in loving community. Ekklesia is not one-size-fits-all, but customizes ministry as the Spirit leads. In ekklesia the members of Christ’s body become hope coaches for one another.

Ekklesia is a dynamic network of Christ-followers interacting with God & one another. The web of ekklesia captures hearts with demonstrations of Christ’s love. Ekklesia gathers regularly to train with spiritual weapons & be sent into the world.

Ekklesia’s like baseball. The goal’s not to sit in the dugout; but to run the bases. Ekklesia’s like football. No true playmaker wants to be a bench warmer. Ekklesia’s like basketball. Any player on the court can take a shot at the basket. Get my book about ekklesia here.

Faith-based facilitation releases positive group dynamics in worship meetings. A group of people, each responsive to the Spirit, flows together in love and unity. Faith-based lecture informs. Faith-based facilitation empowers.

If the body of Christ is kept passive, merely watching 1 man speak; not much happens. To sit like statues when Jesus wants us to be filled with His spiritual fire, misses the point. Religion is rote; relationship with Christ is rousing.

Like a teleprompter, Jesus runs words through human hearts. Most of us ignore them. God give us the guts to grab hold of Your grace and Your spiritual weapons and go all out for Jesus! (Physical weapons take lives. Spiritual weapons transform lives.) We can’t stand for justice if we’re barely standing. Let’s encourage one another!

The best psychological state for humans isn’t self-will, but self-surrender to Jesus. To choose my will over God’s, is to disconnect from true happiness. If we don’t find inner peace, all the success in the world won’t mean much.

Knock all the rust
Off of your trust;
Follow and obey
The risen Jesus!

Posted in AA meetings, church meetings, ekklesia, group interaction, leadership training, NA meetings, participation in meetings, spiritual training, training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Christ MC (emcee)

Let’s come together & let Christ, the Invisible Choreographer, take direct control. When Christians meet to all follow the Invisible Choreographer, miracles happen.

The risen Jesus is the uncurriculum. He’s the Way–follow Him. A program, agenda, or curriculum should never take the place of the risen Christ.

When a preacher emcees a meeting, what’s left for the risen Jesus to do? If we will let go & let Jesus emcee a worship meeting, we will see amazing things! (Let JC B the MC.)

Let Jesus be
His own emcee
The only Head
Of His body!

The risen Jesus can be His own host. Worship doesn’t need a human cheerleader.

Too many want to be minimalist Christians when Jesus wants our all. A little bit of Christianity, like a little bit of air, won’t keep you going.

Sharing heart-felt love with one another is more powerful than religious programs. Jesus lives in His followers’ hearts, however, when your heart is shut down, then Christ is hidden. Christ in me, makes me want to avoid even the appearance of wrong doing.

Ekklesia is a gym for the soul, a Christ-led group-work-out for spiritual fitness. Ekklesia is a gathering of hearts open to Jesus, willing to do what He prompts them. It is a place of open hearts, open caring, & open sharing. In ekklesia the living Jesus is the Master of Ceremonies.

In His ekklesia
Christ gives you
A part to play,
An active role,
Something to say.

All Christ-followers are clergy
Called to minister
To one another
And share God’s Good News.
All Christians are
Preachers, prophets, & priests;
Not one-person shows,
But parts of Christ’s body
Alive to show God’s love
As light houses in darkness.

–A cool “Call To Worship”–
The preacher stands up and says:
“Today Jesus is going to be the emcee,
So I’m going to sit down and you guys
Listen to Jesus and then say and/or do
What He says.”

Church focuses on explanation; ekklesia on manifestation. Church tends to focus on weekly God-talks, while silencing people’s God experiences. Church formality tends to shut down the spontaneous flow of love in Christ’s body.

Learn more about ekklesia.

Beyond Church Greek column

Posted in body of Christ, Call to Worship, church programming, church programs, clergy, clergy laity, clergy/laity, how the body of Christ functions, I am the way, organic chruch, priesthood of the believer, the way the truth the life, Uncategorized, unchurching, worship | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Listening to the subtle voices of bad spirits causes much pain.

The evil in the world (& in our own heart) demonstrates the reality of bad spirits. Everyone is subject to the attack, torment, temptation, & seduction of bad spirits. The ultimate goal of bad spirits is the ultimate defeat of you and others. Bad spirits try to get us entangled in self-focus–a tiny thing to get wrapped up in. Jesus believed in the reality of bad spirits & even drove them out of people. Bad spirits try to keep you from Jesus; because Jesus can give you power over them.

Bad spirits often entice us to follow self-destructive feelings rather than wisdom. When people choose self-destruction over self-preservation, bad spirits are at work. Destructive spirits are real. They often manifest in our thoughts & emotions. Destructive spirits like to use obsession & compulsion to torment people.

Destructive spirits steal your inner peace and replace it with torment. However, you don’t have to passively allow bad spirits to torment you. You can resist them!

Bad spirits speak in human hearts directing us toward evil. They try to convince us that we are right, even when we’re wrong. Listening to the subtle voices of bad spirits causes much pain. They are are inner impostures calling evil good. To surrender to & obey bad spirits can be pleasurable, but the end result is misery. Bondage to bad spirits starts small but slowly grows into strong shackles. Though demons are invisible, you can see their destructive impact all around you.

Three voices speak in human hearts: 1) ours, 2) bad spirits’, and 3) God’s. Can you tell the difference? Bad spirits are tricky. They disguise themselves as our inner voice, tricking us into obeying them. It’s very easy to mistake the voice of bad spirits for your own voice. Much inner pain comes from not resisting the torment & deception of bad spirits. Many psychological problems result from cooperating with those negative inner voices. Most conflict (and violence) is instigated & maintained by bad spirits. Much bad language comes from people repeating words bad spirits put in their mind.

To avoid deception by bad spirits, we need God’s Spirit, His discernment, & the Bible. That’s because bad spirits like to entangle themselves with our psyche so that we don’t even notice them. Bad spirits trick & manipulate people in many various & subtle ways. Be on guard.

Prayer & fasting can help you defeat tormenting spirits. Honest confession & accountability to a trusted friend can also conquer bad spirits. Learn how to meet with a group of Christ-followers that overcomes bad spirits at this link.

To overcome bad spirits takes training, discernment, resistance, persistence & God. It’s much easier to deny the existence of bad spirits than it is to defeat & overcome them. The timid avoid spiritual warfare. It takes boldness to banish bad spirits!

I’ve never doubted the existence of demons because I’ve fought them all my life. To win outward victory, but lose to inner demons, leaves a person still in misery.

bad spirits.jpg

Posted in casting out demons, darkness, darkness and light, deception, demon possession, devils, evil entities, evil spirits, forces of darkness, good and evil, overcoming evil, problem of evil, resist the devil, source of evil, spiritual authority, spiritual battle, spiritual darkness, spiritual healing, truth, Uncategorized, violence, where does evil come from | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments