The Church Service

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SteveF
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Re: The Church Service

Post by SteveF » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:05 pm

I remember what I hear and, in fact, often have to read things aloud in order to get full understanding.
Michelle, you may find this article interesting. There was apparently a time when virtually everyone read out loud to themselves. As discussed in the article, Augustine seemed to consider it an oddity when he watched Ambrose read silently.

http://www.stanford.edu/class/history34 ... aders.html

Steve

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jriccitelli
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Re: The Church Service

Post by jriccitelli » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:13 am

I had a hard time deciding if I could say what I really believe in my post here because I was going to give my own pastor the link here so he could read. Some of this may be an insult to pastors, as I have had to debate the role of pastor, only to find I feel like I am debating the role of the Pope in regards to inspiration, purpose and authority. My pastor is a real Christian, warming up to what I’m saying, his motives are completely Godly, and I love his honesty and his heart for God.

Although most pastors genuinely want to serve and love their congregation, I feel most pastors are falsely led to believe by their ‘seminaries’ and schools that they are ‘preachers’ and that they are Gods mouthpiece every Sunday (or every day for some). God does and ‘’can’ speak through a preacher on Sunday (I’ve seen it happen), but I have witnessed hundreds of sermons where I was wondering if anything was inspired at all, if they mentioned any scripture at all was all I could hope for. I also hear false teaching from pulpits, and worst of all is the meaningless on and on stories that have nothing to do with learning the bible, and worst still is the sermon where the preacher dummies it down enough so that even a flea has a better grasp on the meaning of the text than he would suppose the preacher does. I am convinced the Devil wants to waste our time, and keep us from thinking or talking for ourselves. The Devil (and I ‘rarely’ blame the Devil) can destroy growth and faith among the body by keeping the parts separated and unable to function together, depending on the words of the preacher rather than the Holy Spirit and His Word written and in dwelling ‘every’ believer. The Catholic church is operated this way and it’s no coincidence.

I have listened to thousands of sermons on radio, more than anyone ‘I’ know personally. I am forever thankful for radio sermons and I have learned immensely because of them. I have hundreds of sermon cassette tapes (300-400?) not to mention my wife has some too (and hope someone wants them, as I am an internet person now). I owe it to radio sermons for bringing me much closer to God and truth, and I highly value and encourage other people to listen to radio sermons.
The point though is HAVE THE SERMON ON WEDNESDAY, or Thursday, I want to go be with my Church today, I am not going to go sit through another lecture Sunday morning when you had all week to give one pastor. I’ll take the tape and listen to it five times if you want, but now is the time to meet new friends, fellowship with my Christian family and worship and break bread. Again most all Church goers only go to service, thinking the service and lecture was ‘Church’.

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jriccitelli
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Re: The Church Service

Post by jriccitelli » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:24 am

The most important part of the Church is the interaction and connection, interaction between us and God AND the action between us and ‘the body’ of believers in Christ. The necessity to become one was a command and it was meant to be life for us. The most important aspect of the solution is the interaction in the body or group, conversation, and so many small group leaders also completely miss this also, so the small group is no solution unless love and sharing is understood. God can speak through anybody, and we all have his word in our hands - the Bible. So let the body speak, rather than pontificating, like I am… :roll:

(I have to go to Church now, I pray we are allowed 30 minutes of interaction and fellowship this morning before service starts… )

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mattrose
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Re: The Church Service

Post by mattrose » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:41 pm

jriccitelli wrote: The point though is HAVE THE SERMON ON WEDNESDAY, or Thursday, I want to go be with my Church today, I am not going to go sit through another lecture Sunday morning when you had all week to give one pastor. I’ll take the tape and listen to it five times if you want, but now is the time to meet new friends, fellowship with my Christian family and worship and break bread. Again most all Church goers only go to service, thinking the service and lecture was ‘Church’.
I still think you largely miss the purpose of the Sunday morning gathering in many pastors' eyes. Most of the pastors I know... and most of the ones I listen to... are pretty straightforward with the fact that Sunday morning is not 'church.' They USE Sunday morning (a place where the fringe feels comfortable... partly BECAUSE they won't have to interact) to touch base with new people and draw them toward a smaller fellowship group where they will be discipled.

The point is, Sunday morning creates a space where we identify and invite nominal or newish people. At least that's the way I look at it. And that's the way many pastors view it. And that's the way my favorite online guys view it.

But I agree that IF it is being viewed as 'church'... such is a mistaken notion. On that regard we prolly disagree very little on this topic.

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Paidion
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Re: The Church Service

Post by Paidion » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:04 pm

I'm with JR on this one. That the early church practised ministry by the entire local expression of the Body of Christ, rather than a one-man ministry, seems obvious from 1 Corinthians. If the Corinthans had been preached to by "the pastor" every Sunday, there would have been no need for Paul to correct their disorder, for there wouldn't have been a disorder. Paul instructed the Corinthians in matters such as:

What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. (I Corinthians 14:26-33)

Here Paul is giving specific instructions in speaking in tongues and prophesying in an orderly way in the church meeting. He doesn't tell them to cease these practices, and to appoint a "pastor" to preach to them.
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mattrose
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Re: The Church Service

Post by mattrose » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:38 pm

Sunday morning is not the equivalent to the early church in the eyes of the majority of pastors I know. It is closer to being the equivalent of the synagogue service. I am in total agreement that those who think of it as being 'the church' are mistaken. Blaming Sunday morning for the lack of 'church' is like blaming appetizers for the fact that dinner hasn't arrived yet.

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Paidion
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Re: The Church Service

Post by Paidion » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:46 pm

I don't think it was Sunday MORNING, Matt. But the early Christians of the first and early second centuries gathered every Sunday, for the Lord's supper (Love Feast), an actual meal in the honour of Christ. This was immediately followed by the communion or eucharist (thanksgiving) when Christ's death and resurrection were remembered and thanks was given to God for His Son's magnificent sacrifice on our behalf. Any saint in the gathering could participate as directed by the spirit of God, by giving thanks, or an exhortation, a teaching, a prophecy, a psalm or hymn, or suggesting a hymn for all to sing. The overseers (there were several; they were also called "shepherds") didn't do all the talking or teaching, and frequently did none at all. This was the MAIN meeting of the week.

But later in the second century, "the presiding one of the brethren" led the meetings. Perhaps the office of a one-man ministry or "pastor" developed from the practice of an individual in each congregaton "presiding" over the meetings.
Paidion

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mattrose
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Re: The Church Service

Post by mattrose » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:28 pm

That's not really my point. I don't particularly care what day or time the main 'church' gathering is. My point is that Sunday morning is not really church at all... nor do most good pastors view it that way. So the complaint that Sunday morning is a failure is like blaming an appetizer for not being a satisfying meal.

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jriccitelli
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Re: The Church Service

Post by jriccitelli » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:07 am

Your right Paidion, there was a lot of focus on food (the true sign of a good Church!), and the chastisements Paul gave were just warnings to be considerate, share (or eat first, as the potluck had yet to develop), and to make a distinction between the meal time (probably evening meals), and what was considered the communion supper (also probably in the evening). Its true Paul wasn’t telling them to stop, just be Holy and thoughtful during their time together. 1 Cor 12:17-34 speaks of when they met together (vs.20) and ends near vs.34 noting that they came together to eat! I am convinced that one of the first morning church meetings was along the seashore, noted in John 21. I want to talk more about these communions but I wanted to note something about Matts post.

I love you Matt (Platonically speaking), your heart is in the right place (as usual), and my pastor has the same heart and love for people also. I know in your heart you want the same exact thing as I do – people saved and growing together in Christ – I’m going to use your analogy and say Sunday morning is a failure (because fellowship is not the main event, if it ever happens) because all were given is an appetizer, at best, and never receive the meal. And there is no one to blame but the pastor.

My pastor also wants to reach the nominal and newish, evangelize and such. And so do I, this is why I am saying this is not the way to do it, train your disciples and ‘they’ will reach the other sheep – let the sheep reach the sheep – Jesus sent ‘them’ out. It seems as if the pastor thinks the disciples are supposed to go out and bring the unbelievers ‘to him’, no, the disciples went out and brought the unsaved to ‘Jesus’. Once they become followers of Jesus ‘then’ they were brought into the fold. The preacher can have a tent meeting - on Saturday - don’t lord over the assembly of the disciples, on ‘the Lords day’.

The disciples can bring the unsaved to the Church, but let ‘the Church’ show them Jesus, isn’t that what pastors keep wanting us to do? My new pastor wants more people saved, first he did the evangelism messages and the alter calls when he first got to our church, I looked around, and uh, as far as I know everyone in our small assembly here is a believer, ‘already’. This assembly has been the same group for two years and some for 20 years, and they have heard the pulpit messages for just as long. I have had a conversation with probably every single person in the assembly at some time, they are all believers.

OK so everyone is saved, If our pastor ‘knew’ the congregation ‘first’ he would not have had to devote 3 Sundays to this (he could of just asked some of the elders who may seem to be riding the fence, which is why I was encouraging him to have a couple get to know one another days first. I think that would have been a lot more productive), anyways…

OK, so why aren’t they evangelizing, or growing?? Well I have observed that of the 5 ongoing weekly bible groups only one of the five has an interactive style, all the other teachers dominate the meetings and lecture from 75-99% of the time. And some church members stay in these ‘same’ groups for years! On and on it goes, no one in this church really knows much about anyone else. I do make an effort to get to know everyone, yet except for a couple of the elders and me, no one knows much more about anyone ... gotta go now

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mattrose
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Re: The Church Service

Post by mattrose » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:30 am

jriccitelli wrote:I love you Matt (Platonically speaking), your heart is in the right place (as usual), and my pastor has the same heart and love for people also. I know in your heart you want the same exact thing as I do – people saved and growing together in Christ –
Thank you.
I’m going to use your analogy and say Sunday morning is a failure (because fellowship is not the main event, if it ever happens) because all were given is an appetizer, at best, and never receive the meal. And there is no one to blame but the pastor.
I'm confused. Why should something be called a 'failure' simply because fellowship is not the main event or hardly happens at all? Fellowship is not the ONLY good thing that can happen in the world (nor even the church!).
My pastor also wants to reach the nominal and newish, evangelize and such. And so do I, this is why I am saying this is not the way to do it, train your disciples and ‘they’ will reach the other sheep – let the sheep reach the sheep – Jesus sent ‘them’ out.It seems as if the pastor thinks the disciples are supposed to go out and bring the unbelievers ‘to him’, no, the disciples went out and brought the unsaved to ‘Jesus’. Once they become followers of Jesus ‘then’ they were brought into the fold.
This is the either/or fallacy. Why should we have to choose between sending the sheep out to make disciples and inviting would-be disciples to come in? Indeed, Jesus advocated both approaches in his personal ministry. I, for one, think there should be a balance of 'come and see' and 'go and tell' evangelism ministries. There are a lot of lost people, so a both/and approach seems preferable.
The preacher can have a tent meeting - on Saturday - don’t lord over the assembly of the disciples, on ‘the Lords day’.
Here, we have 2 differences of opinion.

First, you seem to think that Sunday is the God-ordained day for Christian fellowship. I don't. I think it should happen everyday. I do not consider Sunday more sacred than any other day. Evidence that the early church utilized Sunday in a special way is not the same as saying that is a biblical command.

Second, I do not see why Sunday (Even if you consider it the special day) could not include BOTH the large assembly to hear a sermon AND then a time of more interactive fellowship. Indeed, tons of churches do it that way.

The disciples can bring the unsaved to the Church, but let ‘the Church’ show them Jesus, isn’t that what pastors keep wanting us to do? My new pastor wants more people saved, first he did the evangelism messages and the alter calls when he first got to our church, I looked around, and uh, as far as I know everyone in our small assembly here is a believer, ‘already’. This assembly has been the same group for two years and some for 20 years, and they have heard the pulpit messages for just as long. I have had a conversation with probably every single person in the assembly at some time, they are all believers.
It is good to know the context from which you speak. I work with 2 churches.

1 is 20ish people and they could probably all be described as Christians. We have a pretty interactive service. There is about 20 minutes of sharing prayer concerns and praying for them). I do 'preach' but I continually encourage others to share insights or ask questions during the sermon (it is not a monologue). We sing together and fellowship afterwards as well.

The other church has a Sunday morning service with over 200 people. It is not usually very interactive (sheer numbers largely dictate that). But there are LOTS of non-Christians or fringe Christians there. That's a good thing. The Sunday morning service is a 'come and see' ministry for people who are already somewhat interested in learning more about Christianity. As a staff, we use that service to meet people so that our church can follow up with them and invite them to discipleship groups.
OK so everyone is saved, If our pastor ‘knew’ the congregation ‘first’ he would not have had to devote 3 Sundays to this (he could of just asked some of the elders who may seem to be riding the fence, which is why I was encouraging him to have a couple get to know one another days first. I think that would have been a lot more productive), anyways…
In a setting where everyone is already saved, I agree.
OK, so why aren’t they evangelizing, or growing?? Well I have observed that of the 5 ongoing weekly bible groups only one of the five has an interactive style, all the other teachers dominate the meetings and lecture from 75-99% of the time. And some church members stay in these ‘same’ groups for years! On and on it goes, no one in this church really knows much about anyone else. I do make an effort to get to know everyone, yet except for a couple of the elders and me, no one knows much more about anyone ... gotta go now
I would largely agree with your assessment of your context. I would just caution you about applying the critique across the board. Every context is different and many pastors have noticed the issues you've noticed and, frankly, have addressed it years ago in positive ways.

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