Religious demands or changed hearts?

Heaven’s open to all who follow Jesus. Perhaps the mic in church could be too. Christ did urge me to look beyond the clergy. (Acts 17:11)

Pharisees make religious demands. The living Jesus changes human hearts! Religious rules and information without inner inspiration always fall short of genuine transformation.

Heart-felt worship in a circle lets us see human faces shining with Jesus.  In rows we just see the backs of people’s heads. After a support group that met in a circle at a church, someone said, “Put the chairs back in rows for the Sunday school class.”

Jesus frequently said, “Follow Me!” Never once, “Follow a program.” One person perpetually presenting at a podium on a platform makes everybody else passive.

We need more preaching–ordinary people passionately proclaiming the presence & power of the resurrected Jesus! When ordinary Christians begin to tap the treasure
of Christ within, we’ll “turn the world upside down!”

I don’t like the word “lay” in “laity.” Ordinary Christians aren’t called to lay down, but to rise up, proclaim and reveal Jesus!

Most of us don’t need another talk about religious information. We need inspiration, transformation, & spiritual formation!

Why do many people think it odd to allow the risen Jesus to lead a meeting without a program or human leader? How can we believe Jesus is the Lord of all, if we don’t believe He can lead a worship meeting, without a program or human leader?

Jesus is the Way — the living, resurrected Guide who is infinitely more reliable than any worship program or format! When you have a living Guide, you don’t need to follow a programmed format!

“Quench not the Spirit.” If we’re not quenching the Spirit, our relationship with God will look something like the book of Acts.

More powerful than a locomotive; more awesome than a total eclipse; it’s Jesus’ ekklesia! Church makes faith academic. Ekklesia makes it epidemic — a spiritual contagion that freely spreads from heart to heart! Church fills minds with religious information; ekklesia sets hearts ablaze with passion for Jesus.

Once when leading a formal church service I got frustrated, tore up the bulletin & said, “Let’s let the Spirit lead.” He did! While working on this blog post I felt prompted to pick a random book off my bookshelf. It happened to be by Catherine Booth. I randomly opened it & saw this:  “I have a great deal more authority for such a lively, gushing, spontaneous, and what you call disorderly service, as our Salvation Army services sometimes are, in the fourteenth chapter of First Corinthians, than you can find for yours.” (See 1 Corinthians 14:26.)

And one final thought for football season:  Listening to and obeying Jesus with a group of people is more exciting than football!

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 1 Corinthians 14:26, book of Acts, Catherine Booth, ekklesia, Follow Me, Jesus is the way, open mic, preaching, Quotes, spiritual fire, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Religious demands or changed hearts?

  1. Jon says:

    Mr. Simms, I truly appreciate your diligence in sharing this lost truth. I knew from experience that those circles around the Lord are working and the rigid pews (phews?) are not. I am not sure it ever dawned on me why that was, until I started reading what you are writing. The phews face the wrong one. Thank you!

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