About Jesus Steve Sweetman
not true with everyone but lately I hear more and more people telling me
that they’re finding themselves disinterested in the traditional
Sunday morning meeting of the church. Now these people aren’t
back-sliders. They are
genuine in their desire to follow Jesus which seems to be the source of their
speaking the traditional Sunday morning meeting is pretty much spectator
orientated. Most of the
people attending the gathering sit and watch a few people on the
platform, much like you would at a music concert. The problem with this
scenario is that it’s not really New Testament thinking in my opinion.
talked about 1 Corinthians 14 before so I won’t elaborate on that now,
but that chapter is the only chapter in the New Testament dedicated to
what a meeting of the saints should look like, so it’s worth looking
into. It’s just a little
interesting to me that very few of our Sunday meetings today actually
look like 1 Cor. 14.
Paul’s instructions in 1 Cor. 14 the New Testament is about
“doing”, not about “sitting”. Jesus said, “go
and disciple”. (Mat.
28:19) He didn’t say,
“sit around and hope for disciples”.
also said, “you shall be witnesses when the Holy Spirit comes on
you”. (Acts 1:8) He
didn’t say, “you will be called witnesses …”.
Being “called” a witness and “living the life of a
witness” are two completely different things.
say the Bible is more of a book of verbs than it is a book of nouns.
We as Christians tend to like formalizing and structuralizing
verbs into nouns. I think
we’ve done this with our typical Sunday morning service.
Our Protestant, including Evangelical Sunday meetings is a direct
descendant of Martin Luther’s meetings.
Although Luther brought some needed changes to the church, he
left the Sunday morning meeting pretty much unchanged from the Catholic
system, with a few minor exceptions.
Nothing much has really changed since then so our Sunday meetings
today, whether Evangelical or non-Evangelical looks more like a 15th
century Protestant/Catholic service than a 1 Cor. 14 gathering.
So in my
thinking we’ve formalized and structuralized 1 Cor. 14 pretty much out
of existence. Instead
of being actively involved, we passively sit and watch, which is not
what the Body of Christ is all about. Notice
the context of 1 Cor. 14 is all about the Body of Christ functioning
properly. I’m glad my body parts don’t just sit around and admire
each other. I can’t
imagine my heart taking a time out to watch my lungs breathe.
Or, the muscles in my arms telling my brain to hold off with the
next few signals to move while it sits and watches blood flow through a
people who sincerely want to follow Jesus they want to be involved in
His work. They don’t
really want to sit and watch others.
That’s why some are getting restless in their pews.
For the most part simply sitting goes against the grain of New
Testament thinking. It also hinders
the work of the Holy Spirit who calls us to action.
I’ve generalized to a certain extent and there are other comments that
should be made, but it would be worth rethinking our Sunday morning
meeting, understanding the Scripture speaks of such a meeting as a place
for the Body of Christ to function as it should.
And for those who are comfortable sitting and watching, you might
want to stop and think about why you feel this comfort. And of course
what we can’t do without on a Sunday morning is the presence of our
Lord Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit.
If Jesus isn’t involved, we might as well stay home and sleep
because there’s a good chance we’ll fall asleep in the meeting