It’s a good question and one worth asking.
John, one of my readers, stated the following about my previous article, “My brother, your methods are not workable in the 21st century. You have it backward. They will never come to the church, but if I open the door to my home and invite them there, and show them that believers don't just have a "religious" agenda and truly care about their pain, their sin, their failures, THEN they will believe.” John
A year ago I would have agreed with John. Recently though I am convinced that disciples exercising faith the size of a mustard seed can change the world. Sure, if one opens the doors and invites folks into an in vogue, Sunday entertainment repeat performance with “full-on” heavy music, disco lights, etc, then John and others have a point. Additionally, if we open the doors to numerous established, conservative, controlled, religious environments that deny charismata today, then John and others have a point. It is true to say that neither function will accomplish what I am espousing in my article of yesterday.
Here is what I was espousing. Hang a banner on the church building or letterbox your suburb or advertise in your local paper stating: “Have an encounter with Jesus. Signs, wonders, healings everyday from 9am” or something similar. Come to the church building several hours before the advertised starting time each day and pray. PRAY! don’t sing choruses, talk about prayer, have coffee while you’re contemplating prayer – PRAY! Cry out to God and initiate through your miniscule, mustard seed of faith all God’s promises revealed in His word. Let me assure you; one word of knowledge, one healing, one sign in the name of Jesus and you will see the place packed with hungry souls who are desperate for genuine, revealed Christianity.
But whatever you do, do not abandon the basics above and turn the gathering into a conjured up worship fest with worship teams isolated up front; something that is far too common today. Worship is not something we conjure up; worship is the exciting consequence of God’s kingdom power working in our midst, Acts 4. Worship in the New Testament era was never intended to be a series of religious activities orchestrated by talented people and overseen by spiritual policemen.
I believe and experience what I have espoused herein because I simply read the book of Acts and believe the first disciples lived by faith and witnessed God’s work in their lives. It is so obvious in the book of Acts that they were convinced God had called them to His work, whereas today we too often attempt to call God to our work. “By faith they…” Hebrews 11:1-39.
Bob Chapman MA