This week I asked two questions that sparked a larger conversation. 1) What makes going to a Church service beneficial to you? 2) What makes a Church service a good place for (non-Christians, seekers, newcomers, etc. to come? Simply stated I asked people, why Church?
The answers were very telling.
I followed up with this question. What types of things cause you to never want to go back?
Here’s what people shared.
I had a friend that expressed it like this.
“I need to be different when I leave than when I walked in. I need to have met with the Lord and felt that I gave Him all I had in worship with my voice and listen closely to what He was trying to say to me. It’s way more on me than the ‘service.’
I need the service to not be a distraction to those goals. No largely missed notes or pitchy singers trying to perform. No preacher who reads more of a popular book than the word – definitely no “5 steps to…”
If I’m lost, I need to know – how is this different than a rock show, a comedian, a TED talk, or a movie? I can now get all those things on Netflix without leaving my couch. I want to know why so many people call Jesus savior.”
These questions are not addressing anything new. The early church struggled through these same things. Let’s explore 1 Corinthians 14 and discover the problems they faced and Paul’s timeless solutions.
Note: Although this chapter deals specifically with the gifts of prophesy, tongues, and the place of women in the early church. The primary point Paul addresses does not focus on these topics, but the heart of the Christian. No matter what our gender, personality, gifting, or abilities, according to Chapter 14, we have two things that we need to encourage: 1) Seek to build up the church through sharing God’s Word clearly and 2) create order within the worship service to eliminate distractions.
SEEK TO BUILD UP THE CHURCH THROUGH SHARING GOD’S WORD CLEARLY
1 Corinthians 14:12
Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.
Knowing God, believing in God, and surrendering your life to God (salvation) does not just happen. For salvation to take place Christians must share the truth of the gospel through words and actions. Words alone are not enough. Actions alone are not enough. The combination of the two, prompted by the Holy Spirit, present the World with the only way, truth, and life.
This does not happen through amazing presentations or elaborate orchestrations. It is the Word of God that creates conviction and leads to transformation. Whatever spiritual gifts God gives, they need to lead people to interact with the clear truth of scripture. They do not need to point people to a specific manifestation of the Holy Spirit, an individual, a music style, a type of church, a tradition, or a membership. Our words and deeds must be singularly focused on connecting the World with the truth of scripture, and allow the scriptures to lead them to God.
What can you do to elevate the importance of scripture?
CREATE ORDER WITHIN THE WORSHIP SERVICE TO ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
1 Corinthians 14:33,4
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
God is order. People are chaotic. When you get two or three people in a room you have at least 20 different opinions. For us to obey God’s command to bring order to the church we must relinquish our rights and adopt God’s ways.
What personal rights are you holding on to?
What would it take for you to let go and let God?
The Church is the world’s only hope to have relationship with God. It doesn’t have to be a traditional church setting, start with music, have Sunday school or small groups, or even meet in a building. The church doesn’t have to be lead by a pastor, a board of directors, elders, deacons, or even have a 501 C3. God called his son’s and daughters to live in unity together expressing God’s love to the world. For God’s love to be expressed in its purist form the church needs to clearly express God’s truth in an orderly way.
What can you do to ensure your church clearly expresses God’s truth in an orderly way?