Over the past year or so we have had many gatherings of believers over at our home. Many of the gatherings have had minimal structure or agenda. If hot food is being served, we find it helpful to have a meal time set. But if people come late for that, it usually works OK too.
We have had other gatherings where we have all agreed to a bit more structure. For example in the spring we had a thing going where we were studying through the book of Mark together. That was the plan. For the most part we did OK with that plan, even though we didn't get too far before summer came and we took a break.
Consider the order of service at most Sunday gatherings. if you attend a Sunday morning gathering regularly you should recognize some of these items from the order of service:
- Greeting by an someone at the door
- Sitting down in your usual row
- An opening prayer
- An opening Scripture reading
- Singing for ___ minutes
- Money collection
- Special music
- Sermon for ___ minutes
- Singing __ more songs
- An altar call
- Closing prayer and/or benediction
There is nothing really wrong with having some plans. But I see two main problems with following a rigid order of service when believers gather:
- We may miss out on a being lead by the Holy Spirit. If we know what is going to happen before the gathering starts, we may not even look to the Holy Spirit for guidance.
- Most often the clergy and a few other leaders control most of what gets said and done. The rest of the congregation doesn't participate freely.
If gatherings of believers are to follow an order of service, why can't I find a suggested order of service in the Bible?