What do you want your church visitors to think when they experience your church?
- You’re crazy.
- God is in your midst.
Last night, I taught in a church that is planting two more churches here in 2013.
This is a young congregation, under 4 years old, already raising money and training leaders for future church plants.
I asked them the same question as they set the DNA for their future churches.
So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all,as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”
1 Corinthians 14:23-25
A few notes:
What follows is not the text of my challenge to them, but the basic summary.
It’s not a theological treatise on tongues and prophesy either. Rather, it’s a reminder that we should be sensitive to the visitor that God brings to the church.
Paul expresses a concern for the church visitor that attends one of the gathering of Corinth.
If a visitor comes in and all are doing their own thing, speaking in tongues, wouldn’t they think you are just a little weird? Would it freak them out enough to never come back?
But if a visitor comes in and hears the word of God proclaimed in a clear manner in an orderly way, they might declare that “God is in your midst.”
Which response would you rather have from a visitor in your midst?
Paul has a concern for the visitor and it should be our concern.
- Our practices need to be sensitive to the visitor God brings
- Does this practice help the visitor in their journey to Christ or drives them away?