Keith's Questions Crop Up
Time to stop in the tale of Pastor Keith and his desire to see more grass-roots participation in the church. All of the articles (posts)are contained under the "Surgeons Cut" label, and could be printed out in hard copy as a working paper. (Start at the bottom of the run with A Voice for Him)
There is no simple fix for the problems of stultifying routine and over-dependence upon professional ministry. One cannot point-by-point lay out a format to force increased spiritual zeal and sincerity. Service and evangelistic opportunities will be different in each community. The momentum achieved in "theatrical" worship will be hard to reverse for something more participatory. Words from the floor have their place. Trust will have to be developed before testimony fulfills its powerful purpose in a gathering. Believers are personally responsible for moving beyond the basics in their understanding of God's Word, and the Gospel in particular. Bible study helps abound. Corporate prayer should be developed, and program announcements minimized. Worship time is precious. The rush of service number two at the heels of service number one is dampening.
But perhaps I can help in tendering the following comments:
1. God loves to be sought out.
2. God loves to touch the broken and contrite spirit. (Psalm 34)
3. God loves intercession.
4. God loves the five-fold ministry.
5. God loves families.
6. God loves the child-like spirit.
7. God loves His appointed day of rest to be simplified. (Isaiah 58)
8. God would rather hear from a wounded one than a learned one.
9. God loves to be thanked. (Psalm 107)
10. Sing. The day is coming when God will rejoice over us with singing. (Zephaniah 3)
It has not been my intention to cast comment on any particular assembly in our little story; rather it is a blend of numerous observations from numerous places.
Perhaps some day I will take a crack at a conclusion in the story of Keith and his shepherding, his church and his family. But then at the finish we have only really just begun...