How many sermons must we hear?

How many sermons must Christians hear before they are allowed to say anything in church? Will there ever be enough? Since Christ came to set us free, why does church entangle us in human control and programs?

Church tends to teach people to listen to a talk about Jesus while ignoring His presence. You might even say that a church service is a religious meeting that continually instructs people but never trains them to actually follow the instructions. It has created plenty of sermon-hearers, but seems to have fallen short in effectively training people to be sermon-doers. Sermon-hearing has no accountability. Just showing up is considered a good thing, even if you ignore it all and never do a thing.

Give me a religious talk and I might learn something. Train me to listen to and obey the risen Jesus and I’ll be radically transformed. A sermon can teach you some information about Jesus, but you have to get to know the risen Jesus for yourself! Too often preachers stand up on Sunday and say, “‘My’ sermon (or text) today is…” Can’t Jesus speak ‘His’ message to & through His body?

There’s nothing in the Bible that requires a Sunday sermon. Thus, sermon-free church is a solidly biblical option. Indeed, I have a dream that one day this nation’s churches will rise up and go sermon-free, with hands-on training to live out their creeds. I say to you today that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of religion, I still have a dream of sermon-free church! 

In 2008, when The Salvation Army asked my wife and me to start “a non-traditional church,” my spirit cried, “sermon-free at last!” They ended it in 2017. Read all about it in my book, Beyond Church.

To run a church service as if Jesus isn’t present is to miss the whole point of gathering in His name. (See Matthew 18:20.) So, why do most Christians seem to believe that only one, special person in each congregation, is allowed to speak for God? We tell people “go to church” and then we don’t let them do anything but listen, once they get there.

It’s good to tell people about the Light; it’s better to gaze at the Light together. When Christ’s Light is brightly shinning in a group, all we need to do is to point people to it. If a group meets in the Sonshine, there’s no need for a lecture about the Light.

“Quench not the Spirit.” God really means that! Let’s go beyond classroom style religion to a body of believers all listening to and obeying Christ as Head. Requiring people to say nothing during a sermon, prevents the Holy Spirit from speaking through them, thus “quenching the Spirit.” During the Jesus Movement I saw sermon-hearing take passionate, on-fire Christ-followers and turn them into passive church goers.

I am always in awe at how my direct experience of the risen Jesus matches the historical revelations in the Bible. However, Dr. Luke Ministries, Simon Peter Evangelistic Association, and Apostle Paul Ministries are not in the Bible.

Christ living in me makes life so much better. Being carried along by His presence rather than trying to make it by myself is wonderful.
Christianity isn’t about obeying rules or feelings. It’s about being transformed by Jesus & obeying Him.

To those frustrated by politics, Jesus gives peace and His kingdom is eternal not temporary. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Christ not in you, the discouragement of meaninglessness. Jesus is so real and present to me, that hearing a talk about Him can’t compare to directly interacting with Him.

Photo by cottonbro on

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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