Thursday, June 3, 2010

Acts 13:15-16 - What Would Happen If We Did This?

Acts 13:15-16 -- And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, "Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on." Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, "Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen..."
I wonder what would happen if during our church gatherings we asked the same question the rulers of the synagogue asked. If we said to our church family, "Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on," what would be the outcome?

It is interesting that in the typical American church gathering, the above question is never asked. The reason for this is that we have ceremonies instead of informal gatherings. We give a small percentage of our people the opportunity to speak instead of allowing anyone to speak who may have a word of exhortation.

My guess is that if we asked the above question, our church families would be greatly blessed. The reason for this is that everyone would be able to share. Since all believers are indwelt by and gifted by the Holy Spirit, all may have something important to share with the body.

So, what would happen if we followed this example from the synagogue? I think it would only be a blessing for all involved.


Jason_73 said...

When I worked and lived at an orphanage in Mexico, every Friday we allowed the visiting work groups from the states to share testimonies in our morning devotions.

In the beginning, I always wondered why people would just get up there and talk and talk and talk about everything in their life, and every spiritual revelation they had ever had.

Then it occurred to me... These people are never given a chance to share their insight, stories, revelations in this setting and they are pouring all of the stuff that has been on their mind and heart at once.

It might be a little different than what this scripture is speaking about, but it does indicate that there are many believers that are under heard and under utilized within the body.

Somehow we need to tap into that, as messy as it would be!

Eric said...


I agree with you. And, yes, it could get messy. It certainly wouldn't work if we are trying to have a ceremony of sorts. However, it seems to follow the biblical model. I'm glad you were able to see it in action.

Aussie John said...


What would happen? In my experience: Dead silence accompanied by a wide mouthed look of surprise (what we call a 'stunned mullet expression').

I remember an old fellow bluntly saying, "We pay you to talk to us. We come to listen!"

Some are amazingly gifted at Scriptural dialogue,having much valuable input, and simply flow!

Perseverance pays off!

Over a few weeks the congregation soon settled into a respectful dialogue, especially when they learned that they, corporately, had the responsibility to gently keep individuals from straying off the subject or "preaching" or dragging red herrings across the trail of conversation.

Eric said...


I imagine some pastors are against this idea because it could get messy. I agree with you that the body has the responsibility to keep itself on topic. Despite the possible messiness, I think this would be far more beneficial than one person doing most of the speaking week after week.

Jeffrey said...

Most things of value are messy. During our study, we've been referring occasionally to the difference between man-made pagan alters as juxtaposed to God's design for alters. Man-made alters are slick, smooth, savvy; in order. Alters made per God's instructions are just piles of stones: no fashioning, no polishing, no mortar holding it all together; messy.

I propose that Jesus is capable of running his Church. He stands at the door and knocks. The Holy Spirit indwells the saints. He provides an instruction manual. Most readers of this blog are now responsible to God as having understood what the Biblical model is. What will you do?

Or... if we as men have a better idea and are unwilling to let him be the head of the Church...

Sorry, I know this sounds a little harsh. My concern is for the people who are being denied a chance to be a part of real body life. If I ruffle your feathers, well, It's not my intention. I propose that rather than wonder what might happen, you ask God if the freedom of real Biblical body life is what "your" people are supposed to be experiencing, or if you are to continue on as you have. Then do what He tells you. I'd like to know what answer you get.



Eric said...


I was thinking about Acts 17:25, "Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things." Paul says that God has given us all things. Surely this applies to something as important as church life. And He has shown us this - through what is modeled in scripture.