My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.
Lately we have been examining writer Wolfgang Simson’s 15 Theses towards a Re-Incarnation of Church. Today we come to Thesis #10, From worshipping our worship to worshipping God. On this idea, Simson writes, The image of much contemporary Christianity could be summarized as holy people coming regularly to a holy place on a holy day at a holy hour to participate in a holy ritual led by a holy man dressed in holy clothes for a holy fee. Since this regular performance-oriented enterprise called worship service requires a lot of organizational talent and administrative bureaucracy, formalized and institutionalized patterns developed quickly into rigid traditions. Statistically, a traditional one- or two-hour worship service is very resource-hungry but produces very little fruit in terms of discipling people, i.e. in changing their lives. Economically, it is a high input low output structure. Traditionally, the desire to worship in the right way has led to much denominationalism, confessionalism and nominalism. This not only ignores the fact that Christians are called to worship in spirit and in truth, rather than in cathedrals holding songbooks. It also ignores the fact that most of life is informal, and so too is Christianity as the Way of Life. Do we need to change from being powerful actors and start acting powerfully? Unquote.
My experience has been that the times that I’ve seen the Holy Spirit actually do powerful acts has been in the informal aspects of everyday life—conversations, reading by myself, challenge situations, when myself or others have erred. Even when things have happened in an institutional church situation, preparing moments happened previously elsewhere. John chapters 3 and 4 are excellent opposing examples of how important moments happen.