The Inside Column 5/8

Posted in: The Inside Column- Aug 06, 2018 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Last Sunday we cracked open 1 Corinthians 14:26- 33, a passage where Paul gives instructions to the church in Corinth about how they should be conducting themselves when they gather, and one of the rare chapters in the bible that gives us a glimpse of how the early church met together to worship corporately.

Things were a little different back then to how they are today, more simplistic without the bells and whistles and less service structured for sure, yet fully reliant on the Spirit and when they gathered it was electric! As they learnt how to collectively participate in ministering with and to God, each contributing and using their ‘spiritual muscles’ as one body – orderly worship wasn’t so much about containing the Spirit and keeping to structures, as it was about being good stewards of what the Spirit was doing and not cutting across one another in the process of giving expression to His voice and promptings.

Paul’s desire for them as a church – was that if an outsider were to observe them, they would notice the reality of a living God in their midst – and in the process encounter Jesus themselves. This is why he was so intent on encouraging the Corinthians  to eagerly desire the gifts of the Spirit – especially prophecy, so that the church would be edified (built up) and in the process, people would be drawn to a people in whom God’s Spirit was evident to see. This wasn’t a one hour a week Sunday thing either, this was an everyday life of worship thing.

It’s certainly a different mind-set to think ‘What will I contribute?’ as we gather to worship corporately today at St Barnabas, but what an opportunity we have before us. What might God be sharing with us that we can share with the worshipping        community for their edification? You may not have used your spiritual muscles for a while, or perhaps not at all, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make a start this morning.

You may feel prompted to share a thought or  picture, read a passage of scripture or poem, speak a prophetic word or utter a new tongue, sing a Spirit inspired song, raise your hands, leave your seat and dance before the Lord, give a shout of praise or simply be still and kneel in reverence. Whatever your contribution, during our gathering this morning there will be space for you to share as we encourage one another – Come prepared to participate with expectation for a visitation.

Also happening this coming week is our Diocese Synod – held at All Saints. Please be praying for our leadership as they meet to discuss vision and to discern God’s leading.




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