Rituals, programs, and ceremonies? Podiums, platforms, and pulpits? Liturgy, lessons, and lectures? Be careful not to replace the risen Jesus with religion. When religious practices become routine it’s easy to do them without heart-felt involvement.
A sermon that doesn’t facilitate the occasion for people to practice together what they’ve been taught, is incomplete. “Be doers of the word not hearers only.”
No matter how many sermons are heard, without hands-on practice sessions, people won’t learn to effectively do God’s word. Christ-followers should always practice to be more effective at doing the word.
If people were treated on a sports team the way they’re treated in church (all lecture with no hands-on practice) that team wouldn’t be very effective. Many Christians have never been trained and motivated to install God’s playbook in their mind and heart.
All sermon and no hands-on practice makes church a place of hearing but not doing. To train Christians to hear and do God’s word, a sermon should be followed with a practice session.
When religious systemization shuts out the living Savior it’s gone too far. Better than a sermon on hearing God’s voice is a group learning to listen to God together. Better than a sermon on prayer is people praying together. Better than a sermon on repentance is a group crying out to God for forgiveness and deliverance.
When Christians meet and the focus is on one person, it distracts people’s attention from the risen Jesus working in and thru the various members of His body. It’s time for Christians to shift their attention from podiums, platforms, and pulpits to the living resurrected Jesus Christ.
For too many people church is a check off box. They check their faith at the door as they walk out of church, and it’s left behind.
If a church has a roof and a floor it’s a building, but the body of Christ consists of people. It’s not a building you go to.
To resist God (even to ignore Him) is to sacrifice and miss out on the beautiful new life He wants to freely give you. Learn not to do that.