The Apostle Paul describes “orderly worship” and it makes me drool.  As a worship leader myself, I don’t long for a little more order in worship, but for participation as Paul describes it here.  Paul’s problem is that when everyone brings their gifts to worship – words of knowledge, prayers, prophecies, hymns, prayers in tongues and interpretations of them – they are all so eager to share them that they are paying no attention to one another and just speaking right over the top of the others.  Someone is sharing a word from God and another begins their hymn right in the middle of the message.

Would that this was our problem!  The more common problem in the church today is that one will be sharing a message – the exact same one every time, by the way: we call her “pastor” – and someone might begin not singing but snoring.  People today don’t come to worship with something to share, or the expectation of hearing a prophecy of God, or a message from the Lord for the congregation.  And if they did, we would not trust that it is of God but would deem them “out of order” and tell them to stop and never do it again.

We have turned worship into a spectator sport.  Modeling it after both a college lecture – but with elementary school lessons: more on that later – and an entertainment event, whether sports or concerts, we have lost sight of the true method of true worship.  Someone once said of football that it is, “220,000 people who desperately need exercise watching a workout by 22 people who desperately need rest.”  Has our worship become the same thing?

What if this week your personal goal was to listen to God until you had a word for your congregation, or a song to edify them, or a prayer for their strengthening, and then brought it to worship?  You would have to be triple sure it wasn’t just a word from your own opinion, or a song you just like to sing, or a prayer to make a point.  But if we all came with pieces of worship to share, how would that change our worship?

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