The Phantom Commandment Challenge — Church Without A 1-Man Sermon?

— The Phantom Commandment Challenge

The Phantom Commandment says: “Church shall contain a one-man sermon.” However, I can’t find it anywhere in the Bible.  Can you find the Phantom Commandment (or any statement that resembles it) in the Bible?

It’s difficult to see God working when people silently sit in a church service, however, when they share and show what God has done (as prompted by the Spirit), the sounds and sights shine like neon signs and show God’s glory!  Participatory church reveals tremendous treasures hidden in humble human hearts as regular people share their insights and inspiration.  Here are 3 quotations that back up my point!

“Why have our gatherings become centered around a sermon? Why does the body of Christ, the royal priesthood, sit passively listening to the same person speak week after week? There is nothing wrong with a good sermon. But are we missing out on something better?” –Jonathan Hutton

“Our churches are still structured in such a way that we do it to them, not inviting them to create worship with us. So, if that’s the case, there’s really no space for people who’ve been formed by our participatory culture in our churches.” –Dr. Ryan Bolger

“Leonard Sweet urged pastors to wander into the Sunday morning congregation and engage the people in interactive preaching. He alleged it is the ‘height of arrogance’ to believe that ‘God has given me a sermon to give to you, but you don’t have your own sermon to throw on the table.’ He said churches need to embrace the shift from performance to participation.”  –Thom Schultz

And one more quote from the only Christian denomination I’ve ever found, that doesn’t obey the 1-man sermon, Phantom Commandment — the Quakers:

“The Quaker ‘Meeting For Worship‘ is a form of church service that has no fixed, prearranged character. People gather at the appointed time ‘on the basis of silence.’ Out of their silent waiting may flow spiritual messages, vocal prayer, Bible reading, or ministry — from anyone who feels called to participate.” –Richmond P. Miller



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 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 in non-traditional church, called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia." If you need encouragement, search for: Elephants Encouraging The Room and/or check out my Amazon author page. Thank you!
This entry was posted in Jonathan Hutton, Leonard Sweet, Meeting for Worship, ministers, ministry, one-man sermon, phantom, Quotations, Richmond P. Miller, Ryan Bolger, sermon, sermon-free, sermon-hearing, sermons, silence, silent worship, simple church, Thom Schultz and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Phantom Commandment Challenge — Church Without A 1-Man Sermon?

  1. Nita says:

    The first century church operated quite differently. I am saddened that so many believers believe sitting in a pew is the height of their walk with Jesus. Only a “lucky” few are moved into ministry. This perpetuates a passive, performance based, consumeristic culture. I used to be them. Ugh. How terrible that we put one human as the mouthpiece of God. Jesus is the mouthpiece, and us Christians have done a lot of damage with this model of “church”.

  2. Doug Franks says:

    Know of any like-minded groups in Eastern PA?

  3. Pingback: His Sheep Keep Their Baaa-lance (Balance) By Hearing His Voice – | Free Gas For Your Think Tank (Steve Simms Blogs From Nashville)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s