Christians could become stronger if we turned church services into ministry practice for all who attend. Have you ever been to a listen to Jesus meeting–where believers come together, listen to Jesus, and do what He says? Christianity is supernatural interaction with the living Jesus as well as ongoing submission and obedience to Him. When Jesus lives in people, they’re equipped to do mighty things for God, but church sits them down to hear sermons.
Christians are called to be directly connected to Christ. Don’t let anything or anyone come between you and the risen Jesus. As various people obey the Spirit’s promptings, the kingdom (government) of God becomes manifest in a meeting. For an alternative to religion and politics, seek the kingdom (inner government) of God. Jesus said it is “within you.” The Bible never says that one person in a pulpit is the voice of a church. However, it’s easier to sit through a nice sermon than it is to listen to Jesus and openly share what you hear.
Whatever quenches (ignores or restricts) the Holy Spirit’s promptings is not done “decently and in order,” but is out of God’s order. Preachers try to teach people but they seldom present them with the opportunity to actually use what they have been taught.
Modern Christians are given lectures, not hands-on training — sermonship instead of discipleship. The early Christians filled the world with disciples. We modern Christians try to fill church buildings with sermon-hearers. Early Christianity was full of supernatural transformations. Modern Christianity is full of logical explanations.
A Christian disciplemaker trains people to actively hear the risen Jesus and daily follow and obey Him–not just to listen to sermons. If more pastors spent more time making disciples instead of in their office making messages, modern Christianity would be transformed. It costs nothing (but an hour) to hear a sermon, but it costs everything to be a true disciple of the risen Jesus.
When lectures replaced discipleship, Christianity morphed into sermonanity. However, Jesus told His followers to make disciples, not to make spectators. Christians are called to preach to nonbelievers but to make disciples of believers. (So why do pastors preach to church members?)
Church has a duty to disciple its members, not to sermonize them.
Discipleship is not “pastor appreciation.” It’s radical obedience to the living Jesus. Church has benched Jesus’ disciples and made them watch a preacher and a program, instead of training them to use their gifts as the Spirit leads.
Discipleship takes practice. Church needs to get people together and let them practice hearing & obeying the living Jesus.
When church tries to be relevant it becomes weak. When it allows people to listen to and obey the risen Jesus, revival breaks out.
Bottom line: Do sermons equip modern Christians to live and act like the early Christians? If not, perhaps something’s off.
Perhaps it’s a good thing to question tradition and to look for ways that church could be more effective in making disciples. I know that many Christ-followers view church differently than I do and I respect that. However, I feel like one model of church has monopolized Christianity for many centuries.
I believe there are alternative models presented in Scripture. So I have a passion to proclaim, to the many who are bored with (and/or done with) the traditional model of church, that there is a biblical alternative to the widespread model. Many people feel like hearing sermons works for them, but for those who don’t, 1 Corinthians 14:26 presents a powerful and wonderful alternative. Blessings to all!