Monday, March 28, 2011

I Don't Know What's Going to Happen

One of the aspects of our church family gatherings that I love is that I don't know what's going to happen. When we come together we have no script, plan, or bulletin. Instead, each person is free to add to the gathering at any time. Because of this, we really have no idea what is going to happen as we gather.

Because the goal of the gatherings is God's glory through mutual edification, we do have some sense of what will generally occur. There will be much conversation. We will likely sing, pray, teach, listen, encourage, exhort, challenge, possibly cry, and definitely eat. All this will be done in the name of Jesus Christ.

Since we do not follow any sort of pre-planned schedule, this keeps things from getting dull.  Instead of deciding beforehand what we think should happen, we instead wait for the leading of the Holy Spirit. This causes each gathering to be different from the one before. Sometimes we sing a lot; other times we don't. Sometimes we spend quite a bit of time discussing scripture; sometimes not so much. Some days we focus on struggles and temptations; other times we may deal more with how to reach out to the broader community.

As we attempt to follow the I Cor. 14 model, we strive to take something with us to add to the conversation. This may be a teaching, a song, a prayer, a revelation, etc. We may anticipate adding this to the gathering, but the Spirit may tell us not to do so. Or, He may tell us to add it at the beginning, the middle, or the end.

We usually do not know what others are planning to bring (at least not other than the food). Each week I look forward to how God will use others in the church family to build up the body. Although this usually occurs through conversation, I don't know in advance what exactly this will look and sound like.

This variety keeps things exciting. We don't know what the Holy Spirit will do, but we anticipate something wonderful each week. While the gathering is by no means entertainment, it is nonetheless exciting in Christ.

I'm already looking forward to what the Spirit will do the next time we get together. I hope you feel the same way about your church family gatherings.

4 comments:

Alan Knox said...

Eric,

This is exactly what makes many people nervous about simple church gatherings. How can these be "orderly" as Paul instructs? Of course, Paul's idea of orderly is described in 1 Corinthians 14:26-40.

It was tough to me to learn to relinquish control. I either wanted myself or someone else to be in control of what happened. I'm learning to allow God to direct each of his children. But, even though I agree in principle, it's still something that I struggle with (daily).

-Alan

Eric said...

Alan,

I've found that the more I relax and stop trying to be in control, the more enjoyable the entire experience is. I think I'm gradually accomplishing this.

Also, we have yet to have a gathering where there was anything that came even close to being out of order. I've heard of it happening in other church bodies, but so far is ours it hasn't been an issue. I thank the Lord for His grace is that.

Dakota said...

Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well.

Have a blessed day!

In Christ,
Dakota - A Look at Life from a Deerstand

Eric said...

Hi Dakota,

Thanks for commenting. I'll definitely take a look at your web page. God bless! I hope you have a great, Christ-centered day.

Eric