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Two Extremely Important Things The “Church” Has Forgotten

May 2, 2016

Greetings,

26 “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.”  1 Corinthians 14: 26 NIV

1 Corinthians chapter 14 is perhaps the only passage in the entire New Testament that gives us any sort of loose pattern or prescription of how the Church should function WHENEVER it meets or gathers.  Yet, the vast overwhelming majority of “Christian” gatherings either purposely ignore or forget to allow for two key elements whenever they meet.

Element number one:  Each and every member of the congregation has the opportunity to share their gift and contribution openly with the entire Body gathered that day.  The truth is clear cut in this matter…WHENEVER the Church comes together each member gets to share what the Lord lays on their heart as led by the Holy Spirit.  In fact this MUST BE DONE SO THAT THE CHURCH MAY BE BUILT UP.

29-30″ Two or three may prophesy, one at a time, if they have the gift, while all the others listen. But if, while someone is prophesying, someone else receives a message or idea from the Lord, the one who is speaking should stop. 31 In this way all who have the gift of prophecy can speak, one after the other, and everyone will learn and be encouraged and helped.32 Remember that a person who has a message from God has the power to stop himself or wait his turn.[a] 33 God is not one who likes things to be disorderly and upset. He likes harmony, and he finds it in all the other churches.”  1 Corinthians 14: 29-33   The Living Bible

Element number two:  The Lord has given the Church a very great and precious gift to help with the overall flow of ANY gathering.  That gift my friends is the blessed gift of INTERRUPTION.  That’s right in a true Spirit led and dare I even say biblical church gathering there are no sermons or monologues.  No ONE person gets to dominate what should be a totally free and open sharing time.  EVERYONE can share their message or idea from the Lord with the entire Body.  And when we do begin to share our portion for the day we should be acutely aware that others may have something to add or subtract from what we have offered.  We can do this by pausing often and yielding the floor to others as needed.  This will take a great sensitivity to the Spirit, Who should be the one and only true leader and director of each and every gathering of the church.  This takes much practice and self control, but it is entirely worth doing if we really want our gatherings to reflect and glorify Christ.

If what I am sharing here today is true and trustworthy… why do we rarely, if ever, see a gathering that puts these two all important elements into action and practice?  I have been meeting in this simple, organic and profound manner in homes for over 37 years now, but I have NEVER witnessed or heard of a Sunday morning service/show in a “Church” building that followed these God ordained practices.  The ONLY times I have seen the Pastor interrupted in such a manner was the few times that I was the one doing the interrupting.  I am not all that special folks.  I just have a deep passion to see the Body of Christ set free to operate according to the ways of the Spirit, instead of the ways of mere “men”.  God’s way is rarely as neat and tidy as the typical Sunday show, but then again family life sure can be messy at times.  Real true conversations among family and friends are naturally given to an ebb and flow and give and take that many times includes interruptions and redirection.  If this is true of real life… how should the Church be ANY different?  I also know that asking these type of questions can sometimes get you kicked out of some “churches”.  However, if authority is never questioned it will never change and there are many dear sisters and brothers out there just DYING for a change.  Change starts with one person just trying to follow Jesus as best as they can.  I have been that person and hope to always be.  Perhaps today is your turn?

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18 Comments
  1. Bro Kirk….glad you posted this. I’ve known this, tried to explain it to church folks, even spirit filled ones…that are are so churchaholic and used to the status quo they just don’t get it. And why? It’s all in the book we claim to go by..

    .since when did man’s traditions replace the way Jesus set up His ekklesia? Fact is, if these elements you mentions aren’t operating in the assemblies……it’s not “church” period! Oh, how I have longed for that.

    • Scarlett, thank you ever so much for that word of confirmation and affirmation. The traditions of “men” tried to make it into the church from it’s very beginning. So sad, so very very sad.

  2. Rich chamberlin permalink

    We have a relic of the mass production, everybody is a Christian, because I command it, system.
    The head man was/ is representative of that far away, human authority. Jesus place of honor was no threat, since he was dead, but all trace of the Holy Spirit was all but wiped out. I love the term gift of interruption. A true game changer. Can you imagine such a challenge to the far off ( now seminary) authority.

    • Rich, it is our calling to challenge/test everything and everyone. The scripture really says “Test everything”. But the masses fail to do this vital thing all the time. It is very sad.

  3. Zelos permalink

    I so agree with your blog point Kirk. For the most part I think ‘most’ the people would go along with conversation and sharing with one another on Sunday, if the leadership explained and demonstrated it. But the leaders just wont give up the microphone and pulpit format. I have yet to find a one church or congregation in the Bay Area here that did this in their meeting on Sunday. I have had such with house church and with small groups, but no Pastor led group have I ever witnessed do this. Yet it is so simple and refreshing, and amazing. We do this in bible study groups during the week, but Sunday? That would be blasphemy according to most congregations. The church has had it backwards, the Sunday school/fellowship should be ‘the primary event’ on Sunday, not the sermon. And if you want a lecture, allow it as ‘an option’, dont lock us in the room just because we want to sing together, and force us all to sit and not talk to one another for an hour while some guy stands and acts like he is the only gifted person in the room. As if no one else in the room can talk and read.

    • Zelos, you certainly are speaking the truth in love my brother. Thank you for your witness and words of confirmation here. Christ in all of us should be the centerpiece of any gathering, NOT Christ in one Pastor while the rest sit silently in rows. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Freedom to share, not to be bound and gagged in the pews.

  4. daryl permalink

    love the post and comments. Funny how we do things that make us bound. I was reminded of what Paul wrote…”One man considers one day more sacred than another:another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind”. (Rom. 14:5) Latitude and freedom are often discarded under the guise of “spiritual duty or obligation”.I also loved the term “gift of interruption”.

  5. Thank you for your affirmation and wise words daryl. My dear friend Robert Smith is always quick to warn others about obliduty. Obligation and duty are most often the polar opposite of freedom in Christ.

  6. Sue Heumann permalink

    Ahhhh the truth again! And the excellent comments!👍😀 when we were visited by BK and Ken a few weeks ago, this is what my husband and I were just speaking of that was so special! The gift of interruption!! We were trying to pinpoint why it was so special, what really went on…..this was part of it, besides the joy of,the lord evident thru His sweet Spirit flowing…… And as interruptions happened, listening happened, we were eager to hear the expression of Christ coming next. What divine loveliness! Thanks, Capn Kirk……🙏

    • Yes Sue, when we surrender and allow the Spirit to flow freely back and forth through all of us, it is indeed divine loveliness. Thank you for sharing your portion of the truth in love with us here.

  7. Dan permalink

    The “ministry of interruption”. What a concept! Never saw that in 1CO14 before! Thanks!!

  8. Kevin permalink

    For generations, Christians have been taught to read the bible as an instruction manual, rather than a rich epic, telling the story of man doing everything he can to figure out ways of living life apart from God and God’s continual pursuit of man, seeking to draw him back to the place of wholeness, completeness and oneness in Him. Approaching the Bible as an instruction manual has made it very difficult for us to see this broader story that has been unfolding since the beginning of time as we know it. We only see it as God’s tool for telling us what to do. It’s quite tragic, really. Any time we read the Bible, I think it would serve us well to try to imagine ourselves as the people that are involved in the stories and connect with them at the level of our shared humanness. In the case of Paul’s instruction to the Corinthian church, I imagine a people steeped in a religious tradition and structure of their own making, which ironically looks very similar to our own. This is not what God intended for His people, so in Jesus, He entered into our religious traditions and structures and began the slow and painful process of dismantling them. What I see Paul doing is not so much establishing a new structure for the Church to function under, but a continuation of what Jesus started; leading the Church in the next step of peeling themselves away from a structure that elevates man above man, process and practice above relationship, and fosters a false perception of separation from God and a belief that we need to atone for our wrongdoings, so that God would return to us. The end goal being a “structure” that more resembles a beautiful winding river that is guided by the gentle curves of the river bank and is an integral part of its environment and always connected to and bringing life to everything around it, rather than a building built from rigid blueprints and plans that separates the inside from the outside and takes life from it’s surrounding environment, returning little or nothing to it.

    The question is, if Paul’s letter was intended to help the Church take the next step, what should have been the next step…and the next? Where are these steps intended to be leading us? Ultimately, I think the “goal” was to lead us to a place where there was no formal “gathering;” no formal “worship;” no formal “teaching” at all, but a free flowing of the Spirit of God in and through all of mankind, where the manmade form of church ceases to exist and we no longer identify with a place to go, where we participate in planned activities that give us a false sense of (temporary) connectedness to one another and God. His desire is for us to live lives of true inter-connectedness with one another and with Him. To live completely unaware of the “wrongs” of this world, but living wholly and completely in and through Him, as He lives wholly and completely in and through us.

    • Kevin, that’s right…it’s all about RELATIONSHIP and NOT rules. And HIS revelation to us is entirely relational without a rigid code we have to follow. As this revelation unfolds before us HE draws us in to HIS truth in love. Thanks for sharing bro!

    • "BK" permalink

      Kevin, I appreciated your comments here so very much. I recently had a thought that I believe goes along with what you are saying here….especially the ‘what should have been the next step and the next….”. Many people point to Acts 2:[42] “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”, explaining how the people took the apostles ‘sermons’ and ‘fellowshipped’ them. I don’t think so. I think when they ‘continued stedfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship’ they were DOING, not discussing ‘last Sunday’s sermon’. The apostles had been with Jesus and were newly filled with the Spirit and their doctrine, their teaching, was one of no longer ruled by the hierarchy of the priesthood but of RELATIONSHIP directly with the Holy Spirit and each other and THAT’S what they were ‘continuing’ in. Does that make any sense???? Great post, Christopher! “BK” PS and I will underscore what a blessing it was to be together with Sue and Frank in Salt Lake. We are still basking in the beauty of the unhindered flow of His Spirit we experienced there.

      • Yes BK, continuing in their relationship and direct connection with the Holy Spirit with each member being led to share and add their unique portion to the overall conversation and meeting. That’s it!!!!!!

  9. This is the truth… and it is so seldom we see it in action. But it is beautiful when practiced.

    • Thank you for that word of confirmation Mike. It is definitely beautiful to see every member of the BODY sharing and functioning in the free flow of the Holy Spirit.

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