Good morning one and all. I wish I was not so pressed for time today because today's subject is a great fascination of mine; orderly worship. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul writes:
Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. v. 39-40
I am wondering if we have taken the "fitting and orderly way" too far and have ironed the Spirit right out of our Sundays. I can only imagine the fit some people would have in some congregations if people started speaking in tongues. But tongues is not the subject I am fascinated with. Consider what your "worship service" looked like yesterday. Now look at what Paul was saying was included in the earlier forms of these meetings of believers:
When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. v. 26
What did you bring to the worship meeting yesterday? If you had brought something would you have been permitted to contribute? Would anyone have seen it as important to the strengthening of the church? Consider further:
If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. vv. 27-28
I realize that Paul is writing about order in worship but understand why he had to deal with the order issue. These meetings were packed with stuff from everyone so they needed to have order to give everyone an opportunity. Imagine if everyone in your church came with something to contribute. Imagine the variety. Imagine it like a buffet. You would come away well fed. We have gotten use to one preacher:
Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. vv. 29-33
We have either gotten lazy or we have gone too far with the control. I believe it is a bit of both. We treat our Sunday Worship as if it has always been this way but it has not. Perhaps if everyone came in with this attitude of contributing we would have a greater vision of everyone participating in the work of the Kingdom. Perhaps we would see greater spiritual growth. Perhaps we would have healthier churches. However, it is often the ones responsible for developing this who have killed it in the name of control.
I would love to be part of a congregation that would be willing to let go of the need of control, maintain the order but allow the Holy Spirit to inspire. It would take a while to train the people but that is what the five-fold ministries are for.
Sorry to cut this so short. God bless you in your journey today.