Order of Events in the Gathering?

I can say, from experience, that what I said is true to a greater extent than anyone who has not been there would ever imagine.

I was a Mormon for about a year while in the military, young and dumb. I was raised Southern Baptist, and crossed over to Mormonism. Why? Because I was not discipled by anyone, and I was ignorant of the deeper beliefs of the Mormons. As they drew me in deeper into their fold BECAUSE they were willing to disciple me, which they did, I began the slow transformation into their beliefs...up to a point.

What threw me for a loop is when I began to study the Bible on my own, trying to discover the beliefs I was learning, and couldn't find them in there. I asked questions about all that, and they "lovingly" encouraged me to not study the Bible on my own, but rather do it with them. (shrug) Ok. Whatever. I was too much a troublemaker to take that to heart, so I continued my study, and asked more questions. That got their goat. That was simply my being a loos cannon, and they weren't going to have that. It got to the point that they got angry, demanded that I simply accept what I'd been taught, and stop questioning.

Being the personality I am, that was the WRONG thing to say to me, and that was the beginning of the end for me. Those people gathered together ALL the time. We were like family. I never had that anywhere else in all my experience. Major, never underestimate the sheer power that unity has. It makes all the difference. I was amazed at how stupid I had been, and how easily I was deceived. I allowed the familial relations to overshadow my better sense about what I knew to be true.

I'm not suggesting that we use relationship like a family to dupe anyone. As long as we continue to point ONLY to the Lord, and that those we disciple continue their personal study and prayer relationship with the Lord, we avoid the cultic trappings over the minds and emotions of those whom we disciple. I tell people that I'm not looking for a following; that I want them to seek out and follow ONLY the Lord. It's all about Him. The Mormons in my circle of influence didn't do that. I could clearly see it was all about being a Mormon. Christ was somewhere way back in the back seats of the buss. It was all about being true to the apostles and the prophet and the stake.

So, having been there and done that, I can say with every qualification that it has much more to do with discipleship and relationship than what most people realize. We can teach all the truth in the Bible, and people still fall through the cracks because of our seeming cold indifference to their need for discipleship and familial relationships.

MM

We are so very much alike it is scary. I was at one time in the Assembly of God as a teenager and just like you.....I began to actually read the Bible instead of taking for granted what I was being told. They "worked" at discipling the young and now that I look back it was like being brain washed. I truly believe that is why so many AOG believers can not accept the Bible when it comes to prosperity, miracles, and tongues.

Reading the Bible was like turning on the light in a dark room. What I thought was right was wrong.
 

bobinfaith

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Senior Moderator
It struck me this morning, about doctrine...or tradition...

Is the current order to our institutional services a matter of traditions of men, or is it based upon some doctrine I can't find anywhere in scripture? I suspect the former, given how Protestantism remains mostly unaware as to just how Roman catholic it really is in form and practice.

What I'm getting at is the order of events. Most have the following main items in the order stated, with all others of no real consequence to this discussion:
  • Sunday school classes for study of doctrinal teaching and a watered down form of discipleship.
  • Sermons as the key feature for the gathering
Why not the other way around, with study and teaching as the keynote feature before people leave rather than the one dude in the lime light? Is it because people will allegedly better remember him and his Aristotelian (rhetoric) oratory as being fresh in their memory when they leave right after?

I've wondered about that ever since back when I was in the pulpit, be it ever so short-lived...until they found another to hire in permanently. I can't say how many times I've asked others in our church a couple days later what the preaching was about, and the usual response being them looking down at the floor, shuffling their feet some, and finally saying, "I don't remember." That appears to be more common than what most folks are willing to admit.

Is it because of the fear that, given that fewer people are willing to get up early enough on Sunday mornings to attend Sunday school, that the "less important" feature therefore remains in that time slot to ensure more people are present for the lime light performances and the passing of the offering plates? Is the oratory, collection for membership dues, the rock band or choir performance, et al, that much more important than the need for getting people in smaller, collective groups into the word of God for study and watered down discipleship, which commands better attention than sermons interspersed with snoring?

What about the "praise and worship" feature, with so many thinking that they can turn on, like a light switch, a worship scenario in their personal, inner lives, that is acceptable before the Father?

I'm intentionally spicing this up with wording and phraseology intended to illicit some deeper thought from more than just your intellect, but also your emotions, because we're all affected by our emotions...sometimes to a greater degree than we realize or are willing to admit.

What are your thoughts? I realize that many, if not most, think the "main service" is the one feature that should be in the latter time slot because of its perceived importance, but why is that?

Is there fear that attendance would remain lower because of the earlier time slot? Has it ever been tried before to your knowledge? Is not the collective study of God's word as important as the "main service?" Is one any more important than the other? Is discipleship more or less important? Is there a difference in importance? If not, then why are the features never flipped around from one organization to the other? There has to be something to it, or is it strictly just the religion of tradition?

Lots of questions, I know, but food for thought, nonetheless.

MM

Hello Musicmaster;

I'm pleased you authored this important issue of Order of Events in the Gathering and am led to post according to my experience.

Is the current order to our institutional services a matter of traditions of men, or is it based upon some doctrine I can't find anywhere in scripture? I suspect the former, given how Protestantism remains mostly unaware as to just how Roman catholic it really is in form and practice.

I have to be honest, not all Christian churches in America, but alot of Christian churches attend church based on tradition, self group doctrine and our country's culturism. Back in the 90s my wife and I were members of a church that had a large youth group. By the time most of the youth were entering college they made fun at how our church services and youth group did worship and gatherings the same way, week after week. When I heard this, (I was a Deacon, then later an Elder at the time,) shared with the Pastoral leadership and then asked, have our youth grown in Christ? Most of the youth (millenials and NetGens) ended up leaving the church, or found a church with most members their age, got pregnant and stopped going to church, college, or got discouraged because they didn't grow in their faith walk.

What I'm getting at is the order of events. Most have the following main items in the order stated, with all others of no real consequence to this discussion:
  • Sunday school classes for study of doctrinal teaching and a watered down form of discipleship.
  • Sermons as the key feature for the gathering
I've wondered about that ever since back when I was in the pulpit, be it ever so short-lived...until they found another to hire in permanently. I can't say how many times I've asked others in our church a couple days later what the preaching was about, and the usual response being them looking down at the floor, shuffling their feet some, and finally saying, "I don't remember." That appears to be more common than what most folks are willing to admit.

Bible studies and Sunday school in some churches have become a "social gathering" and less about what they retained from the previous Bible studies or Sunday school. In some cases the studies are watered down. They aren't studying in between and it's sad when some in the group who still are not familiar with their Bible, have to shuffle the pages or go to the table of contents to find the Book that is being studied.

The sermons in many churches are fluffed down, avoiding to put "meat" in the message and challenge the congregation. Even so, members won't remember what was preached the Sunday before.

What about the "praise and worship" feature, with so many thinking that they can turn on, like a light switch, a worship scenario in their personal, inner lives, that is acceptable before the Father?

As you and I have discussed in our earlier relationship as musicians at CFS, I cannot tell you enough how the church will only attend because of the upbeat style of the music, the popularity of a certain praise or worship song, and less of the context to what the lyrics are saying. Many during the praise and worship will shed tears, yes, but can see it's just an emotional response. As long as the music favors them they will attend the church they go to.

I maintain the attitude that as a pastor speaking in the Biblical context, sheep are lost animals that need guidance by their shepherd. I accepted this years ago and have had my share of the church that I just described above and in my experience, what's even sadder, is the members who fit this category of my experience ended up of leaving the church blaming me for not fulfilling their preferences of what church should be, or anger, personality conflicts, to this day 95% of them aren't doing anything.

On the flip side, the ones who have remained, I had to lovingly and patiently, remind and remind them while others grasped the meaning of their personal discipleship with Christ, all in the true meaning of constantly learning, applying and growing and receiving the ONE CORRECT Order of Events in the Gathering and that's the True Worship of God and responding to the Messiah. They have exercised the discipline of why we attend the order of events in church;

2 Timothy 3:16,
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

2 Timothy 2:15, 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Problem is, we have fallen short in this area for most Christians and it has to start with the spiritual leadership.

Contrary, I am blessed for the members who have remained at our church from our newest member of 6 months and just got saved in April 2021, to members of 8-9 years, up to 33 years. I have personally seen their growth and am blessed they remain spiritually more so than emotionally, all in their TRUE WORSHIP of God.

I'm not a master pastor, but I do love God, follow Jesus and seek daily my calling to teach, preach, and train. I also feel I have the ability to articulate God's Word to help my church family understand why it's important to grow as disciples.

There's more to say and will continue later in this topic.

God bless you, MM, and your whole family.
 
Hello Musicmaster;

I'm pleased you authored this important issue of Order of Events in the Gathering and am led to post according to my experience.

Is the current order to our institutional services a matter of traditions of men, or is it based upon some doctrine I can't find anywhere in scripture? I suspect the former, given how Protestantism remains mostly unaware as to just how Roman catholic it really is in form and practice.

I have to be honest, not all Christian churches in America, but alot of Christian churches attend church based on tradition, self group doctrine and our country's culturism. Back in the 90s my wife and I were members of a church that had a large youth group. By the time most of the youth were entering college they made fun at how our church services and youth group did worship and gatherings the same way, week after week. When I heard this, (I was a Deacon, then later an Elder at the time,) shared with the Pastoral leadership and then asked, have our youth grown in Christ? Most of the youth (millenials and NetGens) ended up leaving the church, or found a church with most members their age, got pregnant and stopped going to church, college, or got discouraged because they didn't grow in their faith walk.

What I'm getting at is the order of events. Most have the following main items in the order stated, with all others of no real consequence to this discussion:
  • Sunday school classes for study of doctrinal teaching and a watered down form of discipleship.
  • Sermons as the key feature for the gathering
I've wondered about that ever since back when I was in the pulpit, be it ever so short-lived...until they found another to hire in permanently. I can't say how many times I've asked others in our church a couple days later what the preaching was about, and the usual response being them looking down at the floor, shuffling their feet some, and finally saying, "I don't remember." That appears to be more common than what most folks are willing to admit.

Bible studies and Sunday school in some churches have become a "social gathering" and less about what they retained from the previous Bible studies or Sunday school. In some cases the studies are watered down. They aren't studying in between and it's sad when some in the group who still are not familiar with their Bible, have to shuffle the pages or go to the table of contents to find the Book that is being studied.

The sermons in many churches are fluffed down, avoiding to put "meat" in the message and challenge the congregation. Even so, members won't remember what was preached the Sunday before.

What about the "praise and worship" feature, with so many thinking that they can turn on, like a light switch, a worship scenario in their personal, inner lives, that is acceptable before the Father?

As you and I have discussed in our earlier relationship as musicians at CFS, I cannot tell you enough how the church will only attend because of the upbeat style of the music, the popularity of a certain praise or worship song, and less of the context to what the lyrics are saying. Many during the praise and worship will shed tears, yes, but can see it's just an emotional response. As long as the music favors them they will attend the church they go to.

I maintain the attitude that as a pastor speaking in the Biblical context, sheep are lost animals that need guidance by their shepherd. I accepted this years ago and have had my share of the church that I just described above and in my experience, what's even sadder, is the members who fit this category of my experience ended up of leaving the church blaming me for not fulfilling their preferences of what church should be, or anger, personality conflicts, to this day 95% of them aren't doing anything.

On the flip side, the ones who have remained, I had to lovingly and patiently, remind and remind them while others grasped the meaning of their personal discipleship with Christ, all in the true meaning of constantly learning, applying and growing and receiving the ONE CORRECT Order of Events in the Gathering and that's the True Worship of God and responding to the Messiah. They have exercised the discipline of why we attend the order of events in church;

2 Timothy 3:16,
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

2 Timothy 2:15, 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Problem is, we have fallen short in this area for most Christians and it has to start with the spiritual leadership.

Contrary, I am blessed for the members who have remained at our church from our newest member of 6 months and just got saved in April 2021, to members of 8-9 years, up to 33 years. I have personally seen their growth and am blessed they remain spiritually more so than emotionally, all in their TRUE WORSHIP of God.

I'm not a master pastor, but I do love God, follow Jesus and seek daily my calling to teach, preach, and train. I also feel I have the ability to articulate God's Word to help my church family understand why it's important to grow as disciples.

There's more to say and will continue later in this topic.

God bless you, MM, and your whole family.

Bob, that wording is perfect..."self group doctrine..." intermixed with "culturalism."

Bob, I think there's a way to reach the truly committed, and help them to develop into strong, Christ-centered followers of Christ who are mature and ready to bring others into the fold of giants in the faith. I think that mature believers can cultivate a large group of giants in the faith, but it may involve changing some things. If a guy can bring the whole church family into the same realm of desire to support something of this magnitude, I think it can be done. This is where building a prayer team becomes most vital, because initiating something that doesn't originate from the Lord, well, is generally doomed to failure, or it runs on the fumes of human effort.

So, I'm in the process of plumbing the depths of the Lord direction through prayer, that He would help me to find those men out there who desire to function at a higher level of spiritual heights in this life, walking as giants in this land of perversion, and building up others so that we can all grow upwards toward the fullness of the stature of Christ.

Granted...most will lack the vision, and will only see something like this as just another program. No. I reject programmatic approaches. Those are human based. This will take something Divine in origin to get off the ground.

Ignorant children in the faith have asked me before, "What will it look like? Who will be in charge? How can you hope to do something that hasn't been tried before, and failed?...on and on the questions go.

You know, I don't know what it will look like, if it's in the Lord's will, but I know Who will be in charge, and it ain't me. No, sir. I want Christ at the helm. He alone knows how to steer the ship through these waters with old ship masts sticking up out of the waters after having sunk along with so many others. I want to be found by the Lord, if He returns for us in my lifetime, doing His work and yielding fruit with what He has given to me. People need the Gospel, and then active, effective discipling.

Rather than to continue yammering, I'll give you a chance to go through some more of the other posts to this point.

MM
 
Hmm interesting topic

From what I have observed in churches is that, there is set order of service for the 1 and a half hours to two hours time because otherwise people get restless from sitting down too long, and people get hungry and have to go home.

What that is varies from church to church, but, they tend to stick to it the same every week at each church because a regular routine means people know what to expect. The Bible does say things must be done 'decently and in order' eg. nobody talking over the top of each other.

I remember one church even had a timer on the wall, a clock, that would count down how many minutes left to the start of the service, and then the end. As there are no longer church bells in modern church buildings, I suppose they have that. In the olden days they had church bells I've heard.

Some churches print out rosters and time sheets and also hymn sheets for those with bad vision. I think for the benefit of the elderly folk.

Depending on how large a congregation is, it's age, it might be more formal, or informal. Youth services tend to be very informal, because children are more active, youth have more energy, and also they haven't had time to become 'set in their ways'. But even within a half hour to 45 minute session, there will be things that need to be followed to teach or share a Bible story, maybe a song, prayer, reciting of memory verse, colouring in, a snack, and a march around the church and a loud shout of hallelujah to make the walls of Jericho fall down.
 
It struck me this morning, about doctrine...or tradition...

Is the current order to our institutional services a matter of traditions of men, or is it based upon some doctrine I can't find anywhere in scripture? I suspect the former, given how Protestantism remains mostly unaware as to just how Roman catholic it really is in form and practice.

What I'm getting at is the order of events. Most have the following main items in the order stated, with all others of no real consequence to this discussion:
  • Sunday school classes for study of doctrinal teaching and a watered down form of discipleship.
  • Sermons as the key feature for the gathering
Why not the other way around, with study and teaching as the keynote feature before people leave rather than the one dude in the lime light? Is it because people will allegedly better remember him and his Aristotelian (rhetoric) oratory as being fresh in their memory when they leave right after?

I've wondered about that ever since back when I was in the pulpit, be it ever so short-lived...until they found another to hire in permanently. I can't say how many times I've asked others in our church a couple days later what the preaching was about, and the usual response being them looking down at the floor, shuffling their feet some, and finally saying, "I don't remember." That appears to be more common than what most folks are willing to admit.

Is it because of the fear that, given that fewer people are willing to get up early enough on Sunday mornings to attend Sunday school, that the "less important" feature therefore remains in that time slot to ensure more people are present for the lime light performances and the passing of the offering plates? Is the oratory, collection for membership dues, the rock band or choir performance, et al, that much more important than the need for getting people in smaller, collective groups into the word of God for study and watered down discipleship, which commands better attention than sermons interspersed with snoring?

What about the "praise and worship" feature, with so many thinking that they can turn on, like a light switch, a worship scenario in their personal, inner lives, that is acceptable before the Father?

I'm intentionally spicing this up with wording and phraseology intended to illicit some deeper thought from more than just your intellect, but also your emotions, because we're all affected by our emotions...sometimes to a greater degree than we realize or are willing to admit.

What are your thoughts? I realize that many, if not most, think the "main service" is the one feature that should be in the latter time slot because of its perceived importance, but why is that?

Is there fear that attendance would remain lower because of the earlier time slot? Has it ever been tried before to your knowledge? Is not the collective study of God's word as important as the "main service?" Is one any more important than the other? Is discipleship more or less important? Is there a difference in importance? If not, then why are the features never flipped around from one organization to the other? There has to be something to it, or is it strictly just the religion of tradition?

Lots of questions, I know, but food for thought, nonetheless.

MM
I think your right on with this observation
 
Hmm interesting topic

From what I have observed in churches is that, there is set order of service for the 1 and a half hours to two hours time because otherwise people get restless from sitting down too long, and people get hungry and have to go home.

What that is varies from church to church, but, they tend to stick to it the same every week at each church because a regular routine means people know what to expect. The Bible does say things must be done 'decently and in order' eg. nobody talking over the top of each other.

I remember one church even had a timer on the wall, a clock, that would count down how many minutes left to the start of the service, and then the end. As there are no longer church bells in modern church buildings, I suppose they have that. In the olden days they had church bells I've heard.

Some churches print out rosters and time sheets and also hymn sheets for those with bad vision. I think for the benefit of the elderly folk.

Depending on how large a congregation is, it's age, it might be more formal, or informal. Youth services tend to be very informal, because children are more active, youth have more energy, and also they haven't had time to become 'set in their ways'. But even within a half hour to 45 minute session, there will be things that need to be followed to teach or share a Bible story, maybe a song, prayer, reciting of memory verse, colouring in, a snack, and a march around the church and a loud shout of hallelujah to make the walls of Jericho fall down.

Personally, I've attended "open" churches where the people, in the main gathering, were allowed to openly share burdens, praises, songs, psalms, teachings, requests and being prayed over by the whole assembly, mutual edification etc., and the adults in those places acted like adults. Strangely, the ministers in those places, when they started allowing such openness, received complaints from some members who didn't like it that the order-god was defiled by any allowance of the order of the service to be "disrupted" with openness.

No chaos ever showed its face in those gatherings. The whiners complained that someday, continued allowances for openness could lead to chaotic outbursts and mayhem, but none of that ever happened.

When I considered such reports, I asked the ministers why the whiners would assume such problems upon a beautiful expression where the members could actually function as fellow believers sharing each others burdens within the main service.

I pretty much knew the answer before it came. The whiners were a part of that segment that expects staunch, inflexible, iron-fisted choke-holds upon the service and the audience with stringent "order" orchestrated within the confines of mainstream ecclesiology...keeping the leadership in the lime light rather than those lights shining out among the people who were not a part of the almighty "order".

The enemy of our souls clearly didn't want such openness to continue. Many didn't feel that being open was a good thing. After all, some people in those gatherings were gossips, and might tear them apart among the other membership if they dared share something deeply personal that might spark a line of gossip that would put them in a negative light. Others didn't want to tarnish their false esteem they were getting from others in the group. Others yet were too afraid of speaking openly in front of so many people (stage fright). On and on the excuses went, but generally, once it started, it became epidemic.

Most of those organizations, a short time after starting that openness, shut it down in lieu of another new band-aid program that became popular, which was "cell" groups. They figured that this would help to please everyone...as if that were ever possible. I won't go into all the various reactions and other particulars, but many people were greatly saddened, and others inspired by that openness, and went off to start their own groups centered around openness for mutual edification, strengthening, community, etc.

MM
 
Personally, I've attended "open" churches where the people, in the main gathering, were allowed to openly share burdens, praises, songs, psalms, teachings, requests and being prayed over by the whole assembly, mutual edification etc., and the adults in those places acted like adults. Strangely, the ministers in those places, when they started allowing such openness, received complaints from some members who didn't like it that the order-god was defiled by any allowance of the order of the service to be "disrupted" with openness.

No chaos ever showed its face in those gatherings. The whiners complained that someday, continued allowances for openness could lead to chaotic outbursts and mayhem, but none of that ever happened.

When I considered such reports, I asked the ministers why the whiners would assume such problems upon a beautiful expression where the members could actually function as fellow believers sharing each others burdens within the main service.

I pretty much knew the answer before it came. The whiners were a part of that segment that expects staunch, inflexible, iron-fisted choke-holds upon the service and the audience with stringent "order" orchestrated within the confines of mainstream ecclesiology...keeping the leadership in the lime light rather than those lights shining out among the people who were not a part of the almighty "order".

The enemy of our souls clearly didn't want such openness to continue. Many didn't feel that being open was a good thing. After all, some people in those gatherings were gossips, and might tear them apart among the other membership if they dared share something deeply personal that might spark a line of gossip that would put them in a negative light. Others didn't want to tarnish their false esteem they were getting from others in the group. Others yet were too afraid of speaking openly in front of so many people (stage fright). On and on the excuses went, but generally, once it started, it became epidemic.

Most of those organizations, a short time after starting that openness, shut it down in lieu of another new band-aid program that became popular, which was "cell" groups. They figured that this would help to please everyone...as if that were ever possible. I won't go into all the various reactions and other particulars, but many people were greatly saddened, and others inspired by that openness, and went off to start their own groups centered around openness for mutual edification, strengthening, community, etc.

MM

Agreed. The restrictions you mentioned are an excellent way to suppress the working of the Holy Spirit.
 

bobinfaith

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Senior Moderator
Hmm interesting topic
From what I have observed in churches is that, there is set order of service for the 1 and a half hours to two hours time because otherwise people get restless from sitting down too long, and people get hungry and have to go home. What that is varies from church to church, but, they tend to stick to it the same every week at each church because a regular routine means people know what to expect. The Bible does say things must be done 'decently and in order' eg. nobody talking over the top of each other.

Hey Lanolin;

I agree and would like to share that our God is a forward thinking God and created us to grow as well as The Order of Events in Gatherings.

What varies from church to church, though we strive to be one body in Christ, is because the church is autonomous in governing it's members, even the order of worship. Church leadership needs to recognize that Christians are spiritually driven to grow in all things.

In comparison to the Catholic church which does things universal in it's Order of Events in Gatherings. I could go in a Mass and remember the entire order as being the same since the 1960s.


In our church services since day one we formed a worship committee to pray for constant new directions in our order of worship for the purpose of individual, one body and spiritual growth. We have done well, but some things didn't work, others did.

God bless you, Lanolin, and your family.
 
Personally, I've attended "open" churches where the people, in the main gathering, were allowed to openly share burdens, praises, songs, psalms, teachings, requests and being prayed over by the whole assembly, mutual edification etc., and the adults in those places acted like adults. Strangely, the ministers in those places, when they started allowing such openness, received complaints from some members who didn't like it that the order-god was defiled by any allowance of the order of the service to be "disrupted" with openness.

No chaos ever showed its face in those gatherings. The whiners complained that someday, continued allowances for openness could lead to chaotic outbursts and mayhem, but none of that ever happened.

When I considered such reports, I asked the ministers why the whiners would assume such problems upon a beautiful expression where the members could actually function as fellow believers sharing each others burdens within the main service.

I pretty much knew the answer before it came. The whiners were a part of that segment that expects staunch, inflexible, iron-fisted choke-holds upon the service and the audience with stringent "order" orchestrated within the confines of mainstream ecclesiology...keeping the leadership in the lime light rather than those lights shining out among the people who were not a part of the almighty "order".

The enemy of our souls clearly didn't want such openness to continue. Many didn't feel that being open was a good thing. After all, some people in those gatherings were gossips, and might tear them apart among the other membership if they dared share something deeply personal that might spark a line of gossip that would put them in a negative light. Others didn't want to tarnish their false esteem they were getting from others in the group. Others yet were too afraid of speaking openly in front of so many people (stage fright). On and on the excuses went, but generally, once it started, it became epidemic.

Most of those organizations, a short time after starting that openness, shut it down in lieu of another new band-aid program that became popular, which was "cell" groups. They figured that this would help to please everyone...as if that were ever possible. I won't go into all the various reactions and other particulars, but many people were greatly saddened, and others inspired by that openness, and went off to start their own groups centered around openness for mutual edification, strengthening, community, etc.

MM
my baptist church always had a set time of sharing for anyone in the congregation to come up to the mic to share.
It was always after the notices.
Nobody complained because it was a chance for anyone to share, and it was open for anyone to talk as long as they liked, most people kept it short out of respect for anyone else wanting to share. Good news or bad, it was just open invitation to speak about what God has been doing in our lives.

Usually this segment just lasted 5-10 minutes. I don't remember it ever being missed, sometimes there were days when nobody came up to speak, but that was fine too, the invite was always there.
 
I have visited a baptist church that does 'kai time' every fourth Sunday, where there's no sermon, everyone just brings food to share, they cook suausages on the bbq and there is prayer, and this is their big fellowship time. The other Sundays they have sermons, and no fellowship, because there's not much time for fellowship over just one cup of tea and a biscuit.
 
Agreed. The restrictions you mentioned are an excellent way to suppress the working of the Holy Spirit.
Finding a balance between 'order' and 'freedom to express gifts' is an act which the best tightrope walker may not dare. On the one hand you can have 'stale deadness' as the main event and on the other hand you have those with the 'flying egos' on the main trapeze.
 
Finding a balance between 'order' and 'freedom to express gifts' is an act which the best tightrope walker may not dare. On the one hand you can have 'stale deadness' as the main event and on the other hand you have those with the 'flying egos' on the main trapeze.

Correct.

The ONLY balance that can be achieved is to follow the directions in the Word of God instead of our hearts and our emotions.
 
Most churches tend to separate the children from the adults.

They don't do it like this: sheep on one side, goats on the other.

Also I noticed a lot of churches have womens only gatherings, and mens only ones. I get a bit tired of this, to be honest. Of course I never get invited to the mens only events. And I never get to see my brothers at the women's only events.

Just yesterday I got invited to - a ladies poluck, and an interfaith womens event on the same day, and last week ANOTHER ladies event. I'm like, thanks for the invite, but I am around women ALL THE TIME. Come on. You'd think we'd just learn to all get along.
 

bobinfaith

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Most churches tend to separate the children from the adults.

They don't do it like this: sheep on one side, goats on the other.

Also I noticed a lot of churches have womens only gatherings, and mens only ones. I get a bit tired of this, to be honest. Of course I never get invited to the mens only events. And I never get to see my brothers at the women's only events.

Just yesterday I got invited to - a ladies poluck, and an interfaith womens event on the same day, and last week ANOTHER ladies event. I'm like, thanks for the invite, but I am around women ALL THE TIME. Come on. You'd think we'd just learn to all get along.

Hey Lanolin;

I know churches have men's and women's ministries and this is one of my concerns from my post# 24. For some of these churches, the fellowship is nice but what is the vision? Are the individuals growing in their discipleship and walk in Christ? Or is it a time for tea, crumpets and chat and at times gossip?

My wife used to attend women's gatherings but it was more about knitting, preparing a bake sale which is nice but she experiences more substance (learning, listening and participating) in a combined men and women's Bible study fellowship.
 
I think it depends, as I was part of a ladies fellowship that was really serious about the Bible, but I've also been to ladies things where, it just seems it's a way to get away from the men, or eat cake (and then complain about eating cake, cos its fattening. I never got that).

And with the ladies things, you never sure if you are invited because you are female, or its because you are a christian.
I'd rather events are open to all and not say if it's just men or just women. Because then church becomes like this weird sorority or fraternity, and I thought that only Freemasons or witches did those things. I mean I came from a new agey type background, and I am over that stuff. Why does that sort of segregation have to creep into the church.
 
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