What does the Bible say about how a church meeting should go? Not much. Seems like God doesn’t really care that much what particular things we do, other than when we gather together, to do it with the purpose of edifying one another in love.
I thought I would share a live recording of one of our morning services. This audio recording (video slides added) is longer than I normally share but I wanted to give you an example of how we “do church” now. God has done so much in us over the last few years.
As I’ve shared before, this year has brought a whole new dimension of embracing His love and understanding His grace. We’ve had prophetic words over our church about being an oasis–a safe place–where people can come and find healing in the Father’s love. He’s certainly doing that as you’ll hear at the end. More on that later.
There are a few specific instructions in the New Testament about our meeting together. Paul shares various things to consider in First Corinthians chapters 11-14. I would like to focus in on one particular passage here…
“How is it then, brethren?
Whenever you come together,
each of you has a psalm, has a teaching,
has a tongue, has a revelation,
has an interpretation.
Let all things be done for edification.” 1 Cor.14:26
I want you to notice what’s going on here. It’s definitely something different than sing three songs, take up an offering and hear a sermon! Everyone led by the Spirit has an interactive part–even God gets to participate! The purpose is edification.
I think we need to look our current view of church with fresh eyes of faith and walk out on the waves where God wants us to go. For it’s not so we can be wowed and entertained, or listen to a charismatic preacher move us with eloquent speech…and certainly not just to fill a pew and pay our tithes.
No, it’s so much more!
We are to come together to glorify our King–our risen Savior. To celebrate the goodness of God, to be embraced by the Father’s love and to embrace one another from that love. To know Him and make His name known through our testimonies of His goodness. To cheer each other on, remind ourselves about who we really are in Christ, what God says about us. To be freed from the lies of Satan, to have our eyes and hearts opened to the hope of His calling…our inheritance in the saints. To build up and edify one another in love.
To be filled with all the fullness that fills God! (Eph.3:19).
Beloved, that’s why we are to meet.
This passage (1 Cor.14:26) pretty much sums up how our services have been going this year. Not that it has to be this way, and we certainly didn’t plan this way either! No, God did it. It happened as we pursued the Lover of our soul together, as we have opened our hearts to connect with Him, letting Him have His way among His people.
We usually start by praying for one another, we make declarations, we celebrate, we worship, people share what God puts on their heart, we share Scripture, we share testimonies of healing and God’s goodness, we laugh together, we cry together, and we minister to one another.
It’s all about being loved and loving God under an open heaven.
Every week is different but always full of Him. Every week heaven touches earth because His beloved people are there. And we’re actually starting to believe it! 🙂
Yes, we’ve finally understood something we never really understood before. That we all– the church of Jesus Christ–are literally the embodiment of Christ–we are heaven touching earth (1 Cor.3:16; Eph.2:6; Col.1:27; Col.3:1-3).
On this particular recording you will hear two original songs by our worship leader, Levi Blackburn (“The King is Here” and “Love Song”). Levi writes awesome songs that seem to express the Father’s heart and what He is doing in us as a congregation. These songs have become anthems for us. Arleena led us in “Spirit Break Out” (Kim Walker) and Christi led us in “Forever” (Kari Jobe/ Brian Johnson). You’ll also hear people young and old share from their heart, exhort us about the goodness of God, about tearing down our religious walls, and about declaring who we are in Christ (And you’ll get to hear my wife share a couple of different times too!). There’s also a prophetic song from the Father’s heart in response to our singing “Forever.”
About 37 minutes in, one of our teens emotionally testifies how she was totally healed of an ovarian cyst. God is SO GOOD!
But my favorite was the testimony at the end (after the spontaneous song of the Lord) from a woman named Brooke who had just started coming to our church. She shares how she’s never had an earthly father. She received a prophetic word during worship and now she knows she has a Father in God! It was very emotional and transformational for her because she encountered the Father’s love for first time in her life…and it was on her birthday! What a birthday present! I just love it when Papa God loves on one of His kids!
So, this recording is typical of what’s becoming our new “normal” for Sunday morning gatherings. It’s edited for length but not professionally mixed. We’ve added a slide show to make it more interesting. The audio is raw, off of our sound board, but you’ll get the idea.
I pray you are blessed. We sure were… 🙂
Live Worship & Testimonies from Cornerstone Church – 7/20/14