Dorothy In Oz, Wheels, Soul Train, TEAM, Yall, Lights, & A Quiz (Examples/Metaphors of Participatory Church)

Some metaphors for participatory church:

Experiencing participatory church at Berry Street is like Dorothy stepping into a world of living color when she enters the land of Oz in “The Wizard of Oz.”

Church is often like a unicycle, focused on one big wheel. However, perhaps church could be more effective if it was a soul train rolling along on many wheels all working together to support one another as they obediently turn in response to the living, resurrected Jesus Christ.

Team Church (Together Everyone Accomplishes More) — Maybe God has called His church to be a team, supporting and ministering to one another (“provoking one another to love and good works”), rather than an audience watching a program.

Did you know that when the New Testament uses the word “you” it frequently means “yall” (the Southern American English plural for you)? Yet we mistakenly think it is referring to us as an individual. So many of God’s commands and promises are to the body of Christ (the church) and not just to us as an individual. “Christ in yall, the hope of glory!” We really do need to obey the New Testament “one another” commands!

Perhaps church needs to release the sound of the silenced ones, people in the pews who have so much authenticity to share — answered prayers, spiritual insights, profound biblical wisdom, gifts of the Spirit, life lessons, miracle experiences, etc.

Even a small room needs more than one light and a meeting room needs dozens of lights (and a convention room needs hundreds).  So, perhaps a church meeting needs more than one person to share the Light. Perhaps a church service needs various men and women to share God’s Light as they show and tell what God has done.

At The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville we are listening to “that other voice” (the Holy Spirit) — not to the cool clamor of confused contemporary culture!
“The Christian life consists . . . in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.” –C.S. Lewis

People who know the living, resurrected Jesus have an amazing story to tell. Perhaps churches should let them tell it — let them testify!  “They triumphed over him (the d/evil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

Seeing the living, resurrected Jesus Christ working in and through ordinary people drives home the reality of His presence in our 21st Century world. So where can you find everyday people freely expressing their heart-felt love for Jesus? You see it every Sunday morning at The Salvation Army Berry Street where ordinary people show and tell what God has done — 10:45, 225 Berry St., Nashville, Tennessee 37207.

A Quiz For U . . .
How many people does the Bible say should be allowed to speak in a church service? (See 1 Corinthians 14:26).
A) 3 — (the preacher, the worship leader, and sometimes a guest speaker);
B) 2 — (the preacher and the worship leader);
C) 1 — (the preacher);
D) everyone.


About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
This entry was posted in Berry Street, Berry Street Worship Center, big wheel, church format, church leadership, church meetings, church organizational chart, church program, church programs, church quiz, church roles, church services, Dorothy Wizard of Oz, New Testament, plural for you, religion, Salvation Army, Salvation Army church, Salvation Army Corps, Salvationism, Salvationists, soul, soul train, Southern English, team, Team Church, Tennessee, Together Everyone Accomplishes More, unicycle, yall and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Dorothy In Oz, Wheels, Soul Train, TEAM, Yall, Lights, & A Quiz (Examples/Metaphors of Participatory Church)

  1. Pingback: Irrigation, Living Water & New Wineskins | Free Gas For Your Think Tank (Steve Simms Blogs From Nashville)

  2. Pingback: Wanted: Pioneers To Blaze A Spiritual Trail | Free Gas For Your Think Tank (Steve Simms Blogs From Nashville)

  3. Pingback: New Page Church = Purch/Participatory Church | Free Gas For Your Think Tank (Steve Simms Blogs From Nashville)

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