the weblog of Alan Knox

When we all get together…

Posted by on Sep 8, 2008 in blog links, edification, gathering | 8 comments

Here’s another good post by Guy Muse (Happy Birthday, Guy!) at “The M Blog” called “Why are we so program oriented?” In this post, Guy relates two instances in which he was asked to preach. After a short exhortation from Scripture, he then encouraged the congregation to use their gifts to build up one another. Guy says that in each case the congregation was excited by the prospects of serving one another, but that the pastors eventually stopped the mutual edification.

Guy’s final question is one that I have been asking for a long time:

Why are we afraid to gather today in what is clearly a much more Biblical way, than what takes place in most churches with a controlled program format?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 9-8-2008

    Here is my list. Let me know what you think.

    1. It may go to long and you know nonbelievers don’t like be in church too long.

    2. They aren’t qualified to edify one another outside of pastoral oversight.

    3. So one may say something heretical and split the church

    4. It steals the thunder away from the leaders who have spent a great deal of time getting where they are.

    5. It is different from what we are accustomed to and we don’t like change.

    6. Finally someone may be offended that the program didn’t follow the SOP and that is unacceptable in our prestine, crisp, and well prepared “worship services”

  2. 9-8-2008


    Pride, self interest, both of which incorporate fear!

    Of course there is WHNDITWB Syndrome (We Have Never Done It That Way Before).

  3. 9-8-2008

    I agree with Lionel and Aussie John. And, my initial thought fits right in with what they’ve said. Which is, I really believe that the Pastor didn’t want his position to be looked on by others as unnecessary.


  4. 9-8-2008

    I think there are many reasons. For some people, the reasons listed here are probably correct. For others… it may even be ignorance. They only know what they’ve been taught.


  5. 9-9-2008

    It does seem that the thoughts presented here are brushing over serious issues. I don’t know what type of edification was being used in your example but I have people lead away from Christ by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is the job of the pastors to shepherd the sheep and in certain forms it isn’t possible.

    Sure there can be pride issues and all sorts of legit reasons but more often than not, Pastors don’t know how to fulfill their God given responsibilities outside of the way it has been done for the last several hundred years. Right or wrong.

    PS.. Kudos on the new site Alan. I like it.

  6. 9-9-2008


    I can see your point. But, based on my own experience, a Pastor can tell if someone is right with the Lord by getting to know individuals in the church, they are pastoring.

    It’s also been my experience that Pastors feel threatened by those who have similar gifts to their own.

    Which gets back to getting to know the people in the church that they are pastoring.

    I’m sure that some do not know how to fullfil their responsibilities outside of what is traditional. However, sometimes what is traditional is holding back the momentum and mission of the church, in general.

    These are my own observation and the reasons why I initially responded the way I did.



  7. 9-9-2008


    Glad to see others are also asking these kinds of questions. I agree with those commenting that there are many reasons, but tradition (the way it has always been done) seems to the overpowering factor.

    In both cases that I illustrated in my post, the saints LOVED meeting in this fashion. It is nearly always the leadership who fear this kind of gathering for the reasons that Lionel points out. Much work needs to be done with church leaders so that they don’t feel threatened by this kind of gathering.

    One possible scenario for legacy churches wishing to move in this direction, would be to suggest they keep Sunday mornings for the traditional worship service where the leaders can exercise their giftings of music, preaching, teaching, etc. But then open up other times during the week (Sunday PM, Wed. PM?) where the saints come together to build up one another with each one bringing something to the spiritual table of the gathering ala 1 Cor. 14:26. The pastors and prof. staff might serve in a facilitating role, but allowing the Spirit to lead where He wants to take us. In most legacy churches Sun/Wed evenings are smaller groups which are more conducive to this type of gathering anyway. Why not take the risk and see what the Lord has in store when we allow HIM to be the One to lead us?

  8. 9-9-2008


    I agree that these are serious issues. Like you said these occurences can demonstrate pride, arrogance, self-dependence, etc. These issues should be dealt with, either in leaders or others.


    Although you addressed your comment to Jason, I wanted to comment on something that you said. You said, “Pastors feel threatened by those who have similar gifts to their own.” I have seen this before. I hope to encourage others toward maturity, even if it means that others teach or exhort while I don’t. Its not about me. When it becomes about me, then I’ve got a big problem.

    Thanks for the comment.


    Thank you for the post. I think your suggestion is good for traditional churches. Do you think some leaders may be concerned that people will begin to wonder why the leaders are necessary (at least to the extent that they are necessary in traditional churches)?