When they do gather, perhaps except for the homegroups, it
tends to follow a format of singing some songs and then
listening to someone teach, perhaps followed by prayer or
This is where I feel we are fundamentally being asked to
bring something different.
The hallmark of our approach is to be a community that produces disciples who make other disciples (disciples not christians).
The main problem with the typical church service is that it's entirely passive for the congregation.
Basically their roleis to sit and watch, sit and listen while the religious professionals put on the show.
I think we're being asked to do something different.
Something opposite even...
Our aim needs to be to show people how to live, to wrestle
together with seeking the Holy Spirit and bringing his
presence into life with us and applying his revelation to
the circumstances of our lives.
If you join a sports team or a martial arts club or a music
group and you go to their training practice, you don't get
to sit and watch.
You have to DO the sport, PRACTICE the martial art or PLAY
I feel we need to make our gatherings the same.
The Local needs to be a place where you come to practice
your faith, test your faith and grow your faith or...if
you're new and interested, then it's a place to come to SEE
faith in action.
It's a place to experience and see faith in action and try it yourself rather than a place where you hear about faith but don't see it, hear
about God but don't feel him etc.
- Worship needs to be more than just politely singing a bunch of songs you don't really like - it should be about expressing our
- reflections of awe in who God is and the work he has wrought (and
- keeps creating) in the universe.
- Our teaching should be so much more than passively listening to someone else in the spotlight waffle on all about their theory and ideas - it should either be having someone who possesses some degree of revelation on a topic help us experience it, or having people that are skilled hosts facilitate a dialogue where we can test our thinking and understanding of scripture together. It should be a
- wrestle and a conversation, not a monologue.
- The teacher's job is not to convert us to their way of thinking - it's to guide us through a process of wrestling with scripture and truth together and confronting us with the challenge of how we live this in the context of our own individual and collective lives. It's confronting, challenging, stimulating and provoking. At times it might be like Demonstrate, at other times it might be more like a traditional lecture, but as long as it's about helping people find a revelation of God and then wrestle with it's implications in their lives and our lives together then it will be empowering.
- In simple terms: as long as it's about the audience and not the speaker, we're probably on safe ground regardless of style.
- Similarly, for ministry and prayer, rather than having everyone stand around while the experts pray for everyone else, it should be all of us learning to pray and minister together and then deferring to those with a particular gifting and anointing in a recognised area but hopefully seeking to learn and be enriched by how they operate rather than just leaving it to them.
We should absolutely recognise the leadership, annointing and ability of others in a given area and celebrate that.
Then, seeing the good they can do for others should inspire
us to find, train and express our areas of gifting and annointing.
If we start to practice this way of being together we will then become a church who meets regularly to train in our faith, rather than a
group of unrelated people who gather to observe a religious church service.
Then we will become disciplies who make other disciples.
Then we will begin to change our neighbourhood.
To me that is something really different from what I see around us in the expressions of church we have here.
But it is something we can totally achieve.
I reckon that's worth the effort.
Seewhat you think.