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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Simple Church Minute 64--order of worship

64—order of worship
My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.
            How is church supposed to operate?  In the Bible, the church is a number of persons connected by their mutual belief in Jesus as savior of mankind, Lord of their lives, God became man as perfect sacrifice for their sins.  In the Bible, it is never an organization, corporation, franchisor, building or tax shelter.  The church, that is, believing people, met to worship together, although in everything each believer does, the desire is for that also to be worship to honor God.  Singing songs to honor Jesus can be worship, but worship is not just singing, or even having any singing involved.  Worship does not demand talent, spiritual maturity, intellectual training, or skill (although that may come out of it).  Whether worship is music, speaking, prayer, silence, or anything else, it is not entertainment.  If it is music, God has no stylistic preference.  He does prefer an attitude, a desire to honor God and openness to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  The Holy Spirit can speak to you through other believers, but that does not come from another person forcing their agenda or attempting to lead out of their talents or abilities.  The church encourages each other; nowhere in the Bible does it indicate that one or a few do all the encouraging, and everyone else does all the receiving.
            Conversely, most traditional churches, Protestant, Catholic, even Pentecostal, follow this order:
1.  Greeting
2.  Prayer or scripture reading
3.  Songs
4.  Announcements
5.  Offering
6.  Sermon
7.  Song or prayer
Why?  That order may have come from Greek drama, Roman pagan ritual, or Babylonian synagogues.  New Covenant characteristics of worship include every member ministry, spontaneity, unpredictability, vibrancy, open participation.
            You can email me at simplechurchminute@gmail.com.  For more info on organic church*, visit http://www.simplechurch.com/ or locally at (local website).
On the recording, at this time, it says, “house churches.”  While that phrasing is OK, to say “organic church” is better.  I comment on that in blip 94.

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