Beyond “services” to meetings . . .

It’s time to let God go & let Him take control both of your life & of His gathered people. Churches have services; but ekklesia & AA & NA & Al-Anon have meetings.

Practicing the presence of God by yourself is powerful; but it can be even more powerful in a group meeting. When we meet together to minister to one another and experience Christ together, Jesus eclipses our sorrows, trials, and sins. By ministering to one another as the Spirit leads us, we can hydrate our hearts with Jesus’ living water!

Big Jesus in control + little us in obedience = ekklesia! To gather in Christ-led community is to experience a life recovery group. However, when the spiritual life in people is kept on lockdown, churches feel the need to rely on programs. Lecture informs. Heart-felt, community interaction & sharing heals. The body of Christ has much wisdom; but only being taught by one person can lead to deception.

Church looks to one person for ministry; ekklesia looks to one another. When Christians meet to encounter Christ in & through one another, He shows up! I love it when a meeting is carried along by the Holy Spirit rather than following a set program.

Spirit-led choreography happens when believers come together & “keep in step with the Spirit.” (See Galatians 5:25.) An every-light-shines meeting can release more light than just one person shining.

In the body of Christ “members do not all have the same function,” so why do we make all but one, passive spectators when we meet? Perhaps instead of relying on a program, we need to develop Jesus dependency. People who are Jesus-dependent have amazing lives! When Jesus-dependent people get together & totally rely on Him, Heaven breaks out! It’s such a blessing to meet with Jesus-dependent people who are hooked on the King of Kings! Jesus takes us beyond emotional medication to spiritual transformation.

True leadsrship in ekklesia: “We rejoice when we are weak & you are strong.” -Paul of Tarsus. In ekklesia we are told to: “Value others above yourselves.” –Paul of Tarsus, Philippians 2:3

The Bible helps us distinguish between the voice of self, the voice of the devil, & the voice of God. I’ve found that the more that I read the word, the more it burns in my heart and works inside of me! The Gospel is “now revealed & made known through the prophetic writings.” Romans 16:26

Some people fear that false doctrine &/or sin may be promoted when Christians are allowed to follow 1 Corinthians 14:26. However, in our 9 years of meetings at The Salvation Army Berry Street we’ve found that ekklesia is one of the safest places from incorrect doctrine and sin.

As we begin with someone reading a Scripture each week and them move into anointed worship, the Holy Spirit begins to freely move among us. When the Spirit is flowing, rather than promoting sin, people begin to feel convicted of their sins. Rather than sharing incorrect doctrine, their hearts are opened to truth as the Holy Spirit teaches us through His presence and humility in one another. However, as a safety valve, we do have mature believers (the Bible calls them elders) who oversee the meeting (like officials in basketball), so if anyone does share something in the flesh that needs to be corrected, an elder can simply stand up, thank them for sharing, and then correct anything that was off base.

Experience ekklesia every Sunday morning @ 10:45 @ The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, 37207. Learn more about it here.

practicing the Presence

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!
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