25th Jan, 2009

An Evening Made to Order

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim CymbalaThis passage from Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala really hits our notion of church right in the nose. I liked it a lot.

Imagine that [we] invited you to our home for a cookout. When you arrive, I greet you at the door. As soon as I take your coat, I hand you a little piece of paper with the evening’s outline. There you see that for the first seven minutes we will have light socializing: How was the traffic? What are your kids doing these days?

Then for the next four minutes I will give you a quick tour of our home, the deck out back, and so forth. Following that will be twenty-two minutes for the meal. The blessing will be voiced by Carol; then we will pass the food….

While that image of a dinner or an evening at someone’s home seems all wrong, we do exactly that every week in most churches around the country. Nothing about such an “order” promotes relationship, intimacy, or community. Instead, we have order, efficiency and structure. We truly do believe churches are buildings and businesses by our actions and expectations rather than a place for the broken-hearted to experience healing, love, and relationship.

By the way, if you’ve never read Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, it will be worth your time. It is filled with great stories of God’s work at the Brooklyn Tabernacle and very practical truths.


FWFF is a great read, and the BTC has been for years one of my favorite musical inspirations. I probably have about a dozen of their CDs. When the book was translated into Spanish a few years ago, we passed around copies and the impact was what spurred a “prayer movement” in our midst that has extended to this very day, and quite possibly why God has chosen to bless the way He has in our midst.

guy muse’s last blog post..Like Zoo Animals

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