FROM THE DESK OF MIN. FRANK COLEMAN
A message prepared in a mind has little power, even in a church setting. To reach people requires more than facts, doctrines, and poems.
With all the preaching in our churches, American Christianity remains ineffective. It is captured by our culture and follows trends rather than creating them. Rather than influencing society toward more noble and virtuous lifestyles, American Christianity has been influenced into following society’s fads.
Perhaps something more than sermons is needed. According to Paul of Tarsus, a church meeting should be built around open participation. He wrote: “When you come together everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.” This is a much more effective way to help people change than a lecture each week by a professional.
When Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was started they considered how to hold their meetings. They decided to build their meetings around open participation rather than using the weekly lecture format. Their membership exploded and they quickly became one of the most effective groups in treating alcoholics.
When people passively sit and listen, little happens, however, when they openly participate they grow. An old saying puts it this way: “Christianity is better caught than taught.” Perhaps the church should try Paul’s advise.