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Look Everyone…No Flames?

September 25, 2013


“What then shall we say, brothers?  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.”  1 Corinthians 14: 26

So I have been dating a wonderful woman the last several months.  She lives 107 miles from here.  Ten days I ago I visited a morning “worship” service at the “church” she attends.  Great news is I did not burst into flames while there and neither did the building.  

All in all is wasn’t a bad experience.  Definitely not my style or “cup of tea”, but I was able to tolerate most of what occurred that morning.  They meet in an older converted High school and their auditorium seats over 600 people and was mostly full. Before the service we had doughnuts and coffee in a former library, now a fellowship hall.  The auditorium was pleasantly decorated and had multi-colored lighting.  The worship band put on quite a show.  The whole morning was a full mutli-media production including slides and video’s that matched the entire presentation.  On a plus note..the songs we sang were all focused on the person of Christ and not the fluff that many “churches” churn out on Sunday mornings.  Another big plus is that they never brought up the topic of money or tithing and they did not even collect an offering.  Laura later told me that tithes are collected in boxes outside of the “worship” area, but they are never pressured to give.  The whole atmosphere was very casual.  The lead “Pastor” even wore jeans and a tee shirt.  He gave a 25 minute talk about David & Goliath and our ability in Christ to face giants in our life through faith.  All things considered it was a pleasant show.

Problem for me was I did not sense or experience much of the Holy Spirit while I was there.  Apparently, it is called a seeker sensitive service, but I did not get much out of it even though I am a seeker of Jesus who is very sensitive to the movement of the Holy Spirit.  The whole thing was very well packaged and had some entertainment value, but to me it fell way short of true fellowship in Christ.  I had much more fellowship over coffee and doughnuts than I did in the official service.

It is my experience and understanding that when the Body of Christ gathers EVERYONE gets to share their portion of Christ with the rest of the Body.  To me anything less than full member participation falls WAY short of God’s ideal.  Spending an hour in a room filled with nearly 600 people where only one person, The “Pastor”, got to share is a great crying shame in my eyes and heart.  Yes, I cried a bit.  I long for the Body of Christ to be fully functional with every single member getting to share their heart with everyone else gathered.  Koinonia or true fellowship speaks of full and mutual participation for every member of the Body and NOT meetings where only the Clergy get to share.   The Body of Christ will never reach full maturity as long as they only get to be spectators of a show, even a good show about God still falls way short of the will of God for His people.  Until the Church wakes up to EVERY MEMBER MINISTRY and teaches FULL PARTICIPATION for EVERYONE it will continue to cripple those who are simply watching a show and have no real personal investment in the daily life and function of the Church.

I have sure said a lot of words here today, but I hope my heart was evident in my sharing.  Yes, I went to a “church” service and I might just go again in the future, but I won’t remain silent or anonymous.  If I go back I will engage in healthy dialogue with the leaders of that “church” and hope for the best.  Good news is that Laura is coming up here for totally free and open, Spirit led fellowship on Sunday.  It will be her very first experience with a church of this type and I have high hopes they she will get a lot out of it and be blessed by our insanity for Christ.  That’s right…we be crazy for Jesus!  Thanks for allowing my insane blogs into your life.  It feels great to be writing again!  I just hate any system that that divides the Body into Clergy/Laity or Participant/Spectator.  We should never settle for anything less than a fully operating, whole and complete Body of Christ under only His Headship.

Love and….

Kirk Out !











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  1. CatherineS permalink

    I’ve had similar experiences when “going to church” with family members we’re visiting. It breaks my heart to see these sincere believers trying to grow their churches by being “relevant” and imitating mega churches. They going through all the right moves, but it’s just chaff. What’s missing is Christ — especially Christ revealed through ALL His people! One of our family members is quite interested in the organic community of believers (she even requested Frank Viola’s “Reimagining Church” as a Christmas gift), but her husband is very caught up in their church. So we pray….

  2. "BK" permalink

    I like how you just kind of used some time to observe and digest before the Lord prior to speaking to the leadership. I know He will lead you to speak what He wishes (or not speak, if He wishes). I am very excited about Laura coming to experience relational Christianity. I will be praying for her.
    I feel the same when the Lord does take me into Babylon…..mostly sad at the non-participation and the ‘show’…..and I watch for the opportunity to speak if He wishes. As well as, yes, as I listen I do receive also. It’s a good exercise for sure! “BK”

  3. "BK" permalink

    Oh yes…..and I’m GLAD you or the building didn’t burst into flames! 🙂 “BK”

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