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Ignite Your Church - Part 13: Disturbing our Monotony

Kameron DeVasher

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Kameron DeVasher

Director of Sabbath School & Personal Ministries, Michigan Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

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Conference

Recorded

  • June 23, 2019
    8:45 AM
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Heavenly Father thank you so much for this rainy day can't meaning thank you we can be inside today that we can have the opportunity to study these important themes and Lord now as we specifically look at the services and structures of our local church help us to recognize that we're in the service of a great and powerful God that you want everything to be done well in decently and in order and to be intensely interesting and highly attractive Lord help us to represent you well this is our prayer in Jesus name Amen we can have our couple of 2 or 3 volunteers come up please I don't have a pick on you you're younger he needs to sit down at the now this one over here no he helped last time I'm saying it's a division of duty that's also because of the age thing could you be a helper to please thank you let's make sure everyone gets one of these our title today is disturbing our money not me the star is a rather ominous sounding title but it comes directly from the Spirit of Prophecy Ok those are the words used by Mrs White herself but we'll get into it in a minute but 1st of all let's make sure we know what the words even mean obviously I think we know it disturbing means it's to unsettle to disrupt to break up Ok but what is monotony to someone what you've already got the seat in your hand you've got the definition but what would you say monotony is boring alright you know I think monotony might only have boring stale dry that kind of thing listen to what the dictionary says and some of the synonyms this is one of the most fun parts about this presentation is just defining the word monotony the Oxford Dictionary defines not me as a lack of variety and interest tedious repetition and routine. Synonyms for monotony include quote tedium tedious ness lack of variety dullness boredom lack of variation repetitiveness repetitious nys repetition sameness unchanging this uniformity routine wearisome this tiresome this humdrum this can't believe that's a word. Lack of interest lack of excitement it pro se miss that's a high s.a.t. point were there an even fullness dreariness colorless ness feature less ness does this sound like any of the services or meetings that your local church don't answer that that's rhetorical for personal reflection but I'll answer for myself I have been through a lot of meetings and services programs at local churches that fit the textbook definition. Of monotony Now that's not to say that they were there that it was a waste of time to be there anything that but the point was what should have been vibrant and alive was dull tedious and boring so what makes the difference today that's what we're going to look at and how could we be responsible to address this it doesn't have to be that way and it shouldn't be that way let's take a look at some inspired counsel this is from gospel workers page to oak or the prevailing monotony prevailing means that it's winning it's across the board is growing right monotony of the religious around of service in our churches needs to be disturbed and if you would just take that sentence you with. It already implies that it needs to be disturbed by whom ox that we have a job to actively break up this dead soil right. And here's how to do it and we're going to break this statement down into subparts here in just a minute but the Levin of activity needs to be introduced so that our church that our church members may work along new lines and devise new methods the Holy Spirit's power will move upon hearts when this dead lifeless monotony is broken up and many will begin to work in earnest who never before thought of being anything but I'll spectators Now I like to take a little comfort in that because it's I mean it sounds really really awful but notice that why people are why are they being idle spectators Now I didn't look at look at the statement it's not because things are monotonous I mean even though that might be the leading reason what it but look at the point of the sentence that I'm looking at here Ok the Holy Spirit how to move on heart that's true but look at this day never before thought of being anything it never even crossed their minds the concept has never even been introduced they didn't know there was another option that's why they never as they were and consider that church might ever be different that's the way they raise us what we've always done we just go through it and so the people are idle spectators not because they're inherently against working for Jesus I will not. I'm guessing there's a lot of people don't even know there's another option then arbiters into the idea that things could be better they don't even know it's bad they just think this is what it is and I love that that to me there's a lot of hope in there that if that it's a power to move this by just simply bringing these issues to light and talking about it and presenting an option an alternative right. Again many will begin to work in areas who never before thought of being anything but I don't spectators a working Church on earth is connected with the working church above God works Angels work and men should work for the conversion of souls. Effort should be made to do something while the day lasts and the grace of God will be revealed that souls may be saved to Christ everywhere souls are perishing in their sins and God is saying to every believing soul hastened their help with a message that I shall give you and I guess I'm going to break this statement down but when I read that I mean it is so striking to me the prevailing monotony needs to be disturbed that we should agitate against the dullness and tedium of much of what goes on in our local churches. So any what is a recommendation 1st of all the leaven of activity we need to think of our local church as a hub for missionary training in activity Mr White makes that state you probably heard it referred to several times in our menu of course that every church should be a training school for Christian workers that church should be so cool Ok when I go to school I expect to do what to learn and hopefully not just theoretical stuff a practical stuff that's not going to be ancient history that's also going to home ec and is going to be automated and elegant all the things that we wish our schools had these days but when you go you want practical instructions so that you leave knowing stuff able to do stuff the knowing is for the purpose of doing that's why you go to school I hope I mean I don't know and I've seen some people waste a lot of money going to school getting a degree that has no practical application after they're done and like I just $100000.00 and I got a degree that gets me no 15000 dollars a year and I got a good luck. Right but we should go to school with the idea that I'm learning something for the purpose of doing something now let's think about churches every church should be a training school why do we go to church. A lot of times we go to church just that pass the thing we do. And we go through that why do we have the scripture you I have the why do we have this part here why would sort of this time I never even asked thought to ask the question just because I mean let's think about it from anonymous perspective why do people go to church on Sunday is it because they're convicted the Bible says the sup the 1st day is the Sabbath of the Lord. It's just what should 2 do you know how many people come to our presentations of evangelists to truth you know not hear about the Sabbath and it never dawned on them it just never even presented just what you do right that's not to say that they're wrong with it but they're waken to new ideas and breaks up their religion how did you know that the Sabbath which we should look at Church through the fresh eyes of what are we even going here for I don't start to reconsider and reevaluate and that is not to say throw everything out who come to that later but why are we having scripture read why are we having prayer why are we doing the things that we do and 11 of activity apparently is one of those solutions to this doldrum 40 layer church services should become. Please fix that typo as it reads it says Accordingly our church services would become more routine ceremonies. It need to say more of Van not routine their money's mercy we're not putting this one up on the website you guys get the one and only endangered species copies of this is that there's a terrible All right so what would you what are some examples the level of activity that our church services come in to list Resource Council is from 70 that is the test was 37 page 19 let church members during the week act their part faithfully and on the Sabbath relate their experience as a novel idea. What if during the week we all had assignments and we came back on the Sabbath to report how the Lord had blessed Would that be nifty. In. The meeting will then be as meat in due season bringing to all present new all present new life and fresh vigor when God's people see the great need of working is Christ work for the conversion of sinners the testimonies borne by them in the Sabbath service will be filled with power with joy they will tell of the precious experience they have gained in working for others so what is the 1st Rimini that Mrs White gives for disturbing our monotony. 11th of activity get active and start stirring up love and good works right and so when Except now I don't have the statements in here and we do Mark alluded to this a day or so ago that there is always this tension between you know we have the Pope and we have the preaching time and we have pastors who are gifted with that and elders and and we should have good preaching but at the same time Mrs White gives counsel that we should not expect a sermon every Sabbath so and as you've heard me allude to I have a fear that we are becoming rather Catholic in our religious experience and that is that we see the pastor as a priest and that we see the sermon as the sacrament that's why we don't come to prayer mean that's why we don't come to Sabbath school that's what we don't do isn't the missions with all the whatever whatever whatever but if but if I'm in it I got to be there to hear that sermon at just like the way for on the tongue is the Sermon on the ear right if I heard it when I had church and then you say statements like You know we should expect a sermon every Sabbath and then people say What on earth is church for. I mean literally you have pastors around the mission conference now who like if you know something for something happens in their schedule help we need somebody to come up here and preach and I'll drive I've driven you know 3 hours one way just to give a sermon so the church could go on but what would you do if it weren't for service can you imagine having a rich Sabbath school program where you gave missionary ports and you had testimonies born and given and then small group Bible study then you worship together in song and praise and then when you got to the main service you had maybe say more testimony reports maybe more instruction for outreach maybe a Bible study but it but you went through the whole service and you realize hey we didn't even have a sermon it was fine in fact it was fresh Now that's not to say like we're done with that pass get out of here with your preaching. Of course not there's a special place for preaching there's a need for good solid training in teaching instruction in the Word of God it doctrine of clarity we need all of that stuff but we shouldn't come to depend on that's the only thing that church is is waiting to feed off of that part of the service that there should be rich activity in vibrant life through all the members and as we come into the Sabbath day we start reporting on this things and talk about them and sharing what's happening it stirs up love and good works is why talks about that let's keep going to another statement along the same lines in many of our churches this is also from 7 CIA that section there from Sesame on 7 is fascinating about this just you know there's other statements they could have chosen but just picked a couple here and many of our churches in the cities the minister preaches Sabbath after Sabbath and Sabbath after Sabbath the church members come to the house of God with no words to tell a blessing received because the blessings imparted we share a text from you with you from the Bible of course is the only place we can get texts. Go to the book of Hebrews. Chapter 5. Hebrews Chapter 5 The Apostle Paul. I don't want to say who I believe wrote the book of Hebrews he wrote the book of Hebrews and I know so because the Spirit of Prophecy tells us. Ok anyway. Here the Apostle Paul in the book of Hebrews is giving of course you know the book of Hebrews is all about the high priest the ministry of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary and is a lot of rich deep the ology compares his work to that of the angels he talks about the nature of Christ tell you to be made like his brother and and how we have a merciful Hyperion is a wonderful book at here he's going deep into the parallels between Christ and the Ministry of milk has a dick and how his priesthood was a type of Christ it is fascinating but watch what happens let's just start with verse 9 and watch the transition in his writing in his presentation here and having been perfected he became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him called by God his high priest according to the order of milk has a dick of whom we have much to say and hard to explain this is deep doctoral stuff here but it's hard to explain not because it's so deep but because you're so dull. Book since you have become dull of hearing now that's kind of a cold mean thing to say on the server right I love to tell you some deep things about this and go into prophecy and go into this net but you can't hear anymore it's like you know growing seed Iraq bounce bounce masses of them and he doesn't just say any way on the next topic he dives into this little bit more keep reading how did it become go for a vote by this time. Now this pause right here when he says by this time that implies they've been in this message they've been part of the Body of Christ for some reasonable amount of time now these e's not talking to new believers it's written to the Hebrews right these are lifelong church people right they should know this stuff right by this time you ought to be what teachers for though by this time you ought to be you ought to be teachers you need someone to teach you again the 1st principles of the oracles of God is like I could teach I could tell you all this stuff again number one you're not going to get the deep stuff and you've got to hear the same stuff over and over and over and over and over and nuff you've come to need milk and not solid food apparently the people are hearing the same message over and they can't really go deeper and there's something blocking their depth and they're just staying on the superficial bit and that's not to say that the basic elements are and it important but there's no there's deeper there's a deeper into the pool you know he's like I want to take off the float is I want to go off the high dive right and I have to stay over here in the shallow end because you guys can't handle this and what is the reason they've become dull of hearing why can't they go deeper he's going but Saul for everyone Hooper takes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness for he is a babe but solid food belongs to those who are a full age and here's what he means by that a mature Christian that is those who by reason of what's the word use have exercised their senses have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil by reason of us apparently even preaching presenting in writing or whatever and giving and giving and giving but the reason they couldn't go any deeper is because they had been putting to use the things that are being given. Now let's take that to the 7th heaven search is it possible that we've heard sermon after sermon after sermon after sermon on the Sabbath in the stated that the 2nd coming of Jesus above but the reason we can't go any deeper they always stay right here because we never give it to anybody else. And we've developed a consumer mentality that I come to church to go through this round of ceremony and to get something out of the sermon I don't believe I share this illustration with you and if I did maybe the Lord wants to hear it again. But you know if you. If you were on a Friday afternoon at the at the supermarket and you ran into one of your really good friends who happen to be about another nomination they are a fire breathing turn or burn Southern Baptists right. But. You're close in other areas but you agree to disagree on some stuff right and he comes up to you and says Look are Sunday school teachers out of town and we're actually doing a study on some pretty scary stuff I mean we're talking about health and you know I thought to be interesting maybe you could come over this Sunday and want to know that you have a different understanding of the scripture on this Could you share with us what you believe the Bible says about hell to our Baptist church this Sunday 1st reaction praise the lord what your 2nd reaction. Oh snap her right things just got real hard now but you say yes with your knees knocking you're going to trust in the Lord that it's going to be Ok this map to you go 3 hours down and who you run into your own pastor he's a pastor you never believe it I got this awesome opportunity and you share with him which just happened he said that's not it coincidence for him that's a divine appointment let me tell you why tomorrow's message is called The good news about Hell let me ask you how would you listen to that sermon differently. First of all would you be late. Nope Where would you sit right in front by the way I think one of the reasons people sit back is they have no expectation put to use anything they're hearing upfront. They're just watching from a distance but if you had to share that thing you'd be down front would you bring a bible abseil would trust that you Bible. Well if it's up there what if the pages torn out what is sort of oh I can bring my own but I put notes of the thing right I've got to use this now as a tool right it's not decor it's equipment so I'm coming to church now will you talk during the service to other people when you have your cell phone and doing other things you know you'll be riveted Is it because he's such a good preacher you could care less if he's interesting if he's funny he's personable he's dynamic you could be goal is dry paint but you're not there for him you're here for what he's got in that Were you there for the content right now how would you take notes different by the way we all say Take notes we never teach people how to take notes and I'm not saying there's a formulaic way we're not going through it now but I mean we should write down even the title of a sort of sketchy good news about help cool. How do we open the sermon was it with an illustration was it with a startling statistic was it a powerful tech What was the thing like what was his flow of thought This led to this there for this right you don't want to have a random assemblage of tech some sideways and quick you want to have this took me a business and you're looking for that flow of thought you that guy better have put some thought into that sermon because you're going to take those thoughts and share it with someone else right because you have an appointment on the other side of this and if he lays an egg up there and just does some personality funny stuff everybody else might like it we're going to met I don't come here for your person out I came for the content. Right you're going to listen to sermons on a whole new way because there's an expectation that by the way after the sermon you're going to clarify anything that might not have heard correctly going to talk to a network then you're going to practice it with someone else then you can put in your own words and you're going to own that sermon is going to come to your d.n.a. right because tomorrow you've got to preach I think many people come to church with no expectation of any personal accountability to do something with what they've heard and Paul says look I could go deeper with you. But you're not sharing what you've already got I got 3 kids every time there's a healthy thing on the plate at least some of it like I have chips could have you want more but you're not doing what you would where you are because you can have the other stuff until you finish this thing right Also you gotta put to use the thing you've already got or we can go deeper Anyway it's an illustration of that right what if the church service were seen as a school where you were coming to get training to get resources to get equipped to go out into ministry and then you come back and report those things and every member had that same mentality that church would be really different than most churches you go today Ok so there's some individual onus to helping make it interesting right but let's go to number 2 intensely interesting and. What in your saddest cool and worship service each week is done merely for the sake of occupying the time in could be made more intensely interesting you see those are in quotes there because those are exact phrases lifted from the following statement this is from Christian service page $211.00 our meeting should be made what's the phrase intensely CLI's noted did not say highly entertaining it said intensely interesting there's a difference they should be pervaded with the very atmosphere of heaven. Let there be no long drive speeches and formal prayers merely for the sake of occupying the time all should be ready to act their part with promptness and when their duty is done the meeting should be closed all done dismissed now that I mean that not now and. Thus the interest will be kept up to the last so she gives an outline she has some very practical hints we're going to break each one of them down here about how our services could be more interesting and less dull lifeless a monotonous right. This is offering to God acceptable worship which apparently there is an acceptable worship somehow. Here let's break down this statement into its parts here let there be no long dry speeches. What are some ways. And again just think back in your own local church or churches you've seen or grew up in or something like that have you ever noticed that there is a tendency towards long dry speeches yes in most churches that's a thing and it's not just sermons I'm talking about I'm talking about all the other participants in all the other elements kind of drone on and on and you certain things like are to get it move on move on move on they just keep going why is that so here's some practical ways I would recommend to help avoid those long dry speeches number one limit announcements during the worship service now some of you are going to say I there's my testimony right there because you know other churches like we don't have enough as we have other what have had that whole train that cavalcade of announcements you know I used to dread it might sit in a pew and see one person come up from their whisper in the past I see make a Nelson. Another person I just want to talk about this Rick and also you got a line up on the front pew and it's like next next 20 minutes later we're stuck we're listening to people read a bulletin to us. It's already written down why are we doing this I think it's merely to occupy the time and to present something make it say this are going right now move on. Limit innocence or to assure you the lies the church bulletin the church newsletter your email your bulletin board set are as the primary means of communication anticipate and expect people to use those things refer them to that now if you have a special announcement or something to highlight you can pull out one or 2 that are relevant pertinent but don't say 3 weeks from now they'll get up there with your 3 weeks of no. It's a today we're going to be leaving there are next Sabbath become ready for this record but choose a few very few and highlight those right avoid having a train of announcements each week by having a single person highlight only key announcements from the pope. We had this in our Muskegon church we had a wonderful elder by the name of Norm Grove had a great radio voice and we made a New Rules like he's the one who makes announcements nobody else makes announcements but what if I want to talk about tell it to Norm he'll say it but we don't because every time and we'll get into this next but even the littlest things like transitioning from one person of the pope to the next person the pope It takes a little time and yet 5 times just during announcement my goodness what are we doing. Platform participants limit extemporaneous or ski even scripted comments and explain this number what each element of the program does not need a greeting or a a preamble Now I take a little bit of heat for this one now temperate. We have a thing in the worship called welcome what is that supposed to do welcome people but each time you get up you should have to say good morning everyone happy Sabbath work every single person does start now I know pushback is nothing wrong with him saying Happy Sabbath Saints it I'm not saying that every greeting should be eliminated but when it becomes a train over and over and over there's a reason we have a special thing called Welcome to welcome the people that hey how about this one. In the preamble part. Whether it's a special music and you can sometimes you can say a few words about why this is important to you but it or the prayer time or the scripture reading or whatever you have some people get up and think that this is my time carved out of the service to just address the people no it's not it's your job to read the scripture. That's what we expected today don't say you know when I was a child we used to just start into a little miniature sermon don't do that do your job with promptness in the be done very simple so for instance when it's time to do the scripture reading what I like to do is not walk up and say Happy Sad to say it isn't a great doubt weather is nice outside a man that's great and just don't do that our Scripture either this morning is found in Hebrews Chapter 5 of a reading from the New King James Version there's a Pew Bible in front if you'd like to take that out again that's Hebrews Chapter 5 or become to find it then read it clearly if the Lord had a blessing reading His word and. So it moved along Ok they're not there for you they're there for the thing you're supposed to do. I don't know. Yeah I've had that discussion I'll be very frank with you I included it in this seminar because I had pushback from someone who said no we need that is a good thing and I don't have a problem with it it's a good sentiment to say but if you have another phrase or have another thing to say we don't have anything to say or maybe just say Amen move on right the point is that all those Korea amble and intro and outro commentary they kind of swell sometimes you know and it just adds to the girth of the service in your movement. If you must read the pre written often call for example or the scripture reading or something that scripted practice beforehand don't get up in mumble stumble through that thing Ok and see it so often you know people will not stand close to the microphone which is another thing and they're just there to start reading the script they have a practice they have mispronunciations of it they don't emphasize it have the spirit of it right there it's like they get to the end they're surprised like oh it's done Ok. Deacon's Can you please. Write make it personable read it beforehand summarize it in your own words of possible write but make it as personable as possible and not so formal just a dry speech getting through things right so even the pre written stuff practice that beforehand so there's some life in it let's move on to this one c Let there be no formal prayers go to Matthew chapter 6. Jesus himself. Talked about the formality a prayer and how bad that was Matthew chapter 6 starting with verse 5. I'll be reading from the New King James Version. First 5 and when you pray you shall not be like the hypocrites for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets they may be seen by miniature last 80 they have their reward but you when you pray go into your room and when you have shut your door pray to your father who is in secret place and your Father who sees in secret really what Ward you openly clearly his emphasis primarily is on personal prayer right don't just make a public thing but and it says and when you pray the content do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do for they think they will be heard for their many words thinking you'll be heard for your many words like a prayer is inherently better if it's more verb Oh so in a word here and don't start thinking that way and especially when you get up front Mrs White has come as counsel on this when it comes to prayers in the church prayers especially in public should be simple and sincere we should not ramble on to fill time nor use ostentatious language to sound formal or quote churchy this review Harold May 3871 when Christ taught the people he did not devote the time to prayer that sounds almost crazy doesn't it. Read this and again when he taught the people he did not but does that mean that Christ was somehow against prayer or belittling prayer of course not but when he had the people all assembled he didn't take the majority the time in long ornate prayers he did not enforce upon them as did the ferrous these long tedious ceremonies and lengthy prayers so when Christ at the Sermon on the Mount it's not like he had 45 minutes of preliminaries leading up to it right he got to the point and I'm certain that he prayed but it wasn't for the purpose of you know filling the time and making it official so no it was some simple it was since they're sincere and then he got into the message he wanted to present I think I met him in one of the reasons people heard him so gladly and we got to it praise the Lord what a great thing by the way the Bible tells us exactly why they listen so gladly because he taught with one having authority right not only to get right to the point but when he made his point he missed his point when he said something book he wasn't like you know I've read and I've heard different we preach like that sometimes too I'm not going to get on the soapbox right now except for just a foot but. We'll take a text and we want to show off our you know intellectual chops or academic your whatever and like did you know that in the Greeks This will add business and people I quote it in this one person said this and I read from this commentary it said this and people leaving like wow that's a whole smorgasbord of I don't know what he said I don't know the point but apparently he really studied out right this is what the scribes and Pharisees would do they would stand up and say like this teacher has said this but we have to but in this context enough but at the same time you got to keep in mind that this but don't go too far you like her and she's a say look you've heard it said but I say right it says don't kill people let me tell you it goes even deeper than that I don't even want to kill people is my paraphrase. Don't hate I'm just as bad in the heart same thing with adultery looking is the same as doing so don't do it. And people like whoa see you saying just don't kill it off like yep totally now is that from the rich don't. Like look I am the original language right I'm Sal and you're talking to the author it's right now go do if you notice also Jesus always focused his teaching on the practical application went in the guy came up to him and tried to test him right. This happened of the one time over and over it happened right which is would turn out what does the law say. Well then go and do it and then when he said Who is my neighbor you know you like you know who your neighbor is somehow you came up with the answer straight from Scripture but you can't figure out here by the way the Bible says He wanting to justify himself asked and who is my neighbor is it possible we at confused because we don't want to apply what we heard you know Jesus ran into this a lot you know the whole how who is my neighbor guy. You think he couldn't figure out who his neighbor so what a G.'s i love how Jesus answered he gave the story the good Samaritan right and he walked or at the end of the story he says now which of these. Right I mean it's written in such a way where imagine do a children's story right there was this one guy he was bare and this other guy was super bad and then the last one is really nice now you tell me. Who is neighbor and the guy was cornered right he's like the one who. Is like now and then he came back to go and do likewise Nicky Demas Are you saying we had to be smaller and go back in time into he's like you and she said Are you a teacher in Israel you don't know these things. And then he said this is the condemnation light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil it's not that you don't get it it's you don't want to do it you see this in evangelism. People will totally understand the $2300.00 days in Daniel Chapter 9 and the mark of the beast but when the Sabbath comes around that. The reason have a trouble with these teachings isn't because they're unclear it's because they are clear so that was a soapbox I'm sorry. But when Jesus spoke this goes back he stripped out all the extemporaneous all the extras and he just got right to the heart of the issue and spoke to the people directly and they appreciate it was like you know fresh cold air coming down off the mountain was wonderful yea let there be no formal prayers again Christ talked to people he did not when Christ taught the people he not to devote the time to prayer think about our worship services we should consider how this council applies to our time for prayer requests gardens of prayer and the like in the worship service not to be very careful here there absolutely should be prayer and worship services and there's a time for the congregational prayer the prayer for the often makes sense that we have multiple press for different functions but what I have noticed is that will sometimes now open the floor to requests and praises passed around roving microphone or invite people to come down front and we have this big prayer section almost as though we don't have an entire meeting each week devoted to prayer. Prayer Meeting It's even got a catchy title prayer meeting but what do we know about permitting nobody shows up so what do we do in a worship service or put in prayer meeting or what's interesting to me is we keep taking all the functions of both prayer meeting and Sabbath school and everything else testimonies baptisms special features prayer times you name it and we put it all in the worship service because that's the only thing people will show up to all announcers again and we don't even put it 11 o'clock we want it both latest in the service you can't that's when you get the high That's the apex of attendance 113540 right around that juicy sweet spot as the early people are still there in the late people finally showed up as your Venn diagram of attendance as a high point. But we should do that I love this one all should be ready to act their part with what's the word promptness in the same sentence problem this just off topic it swift mails punctual us good well. Ready Ok ready to act to part with promptness so you can be ready but still not propped. On time prepared quick right get to it. You look at this particular statement of what they should be ready they should be prompt and when it's done they should be done. Oh I would love to have met her I think she might have a little twitchy I like that you know she was like come on I would love to imagine l.-y. would like a good long 4 hour thing you know she's like me this think move let's go go have ever had that thing when you're sitting at a stoplight or especially a left turn arrow. Or you know where I'm coming already right you look at the thing and you're like 5 cars back and you already know odds are you're not moving I mean you have to forward are not getting through right and why is that because the 1st car is going to go when it's green but the 2nd car is going to go after the 1st car successfully makes it through the intersection by whom good they made it all right now I will begin to move and then. He starts going apparently we're driving to Lizzie's but. And they were going on and 3 cars and also it turns out. You know there was plenty of time in that light to get twice as many people through if everybody would just look at the green light in trusting. The guy behind the guide for we just all kind of you know move. Well as I get into how we deal with the brother that it is that's why the window can roll down and I can throw things no that's not why this. Point is that we experience this in everyday life and it frustrates the daylights out of us but we come to church is totally normal. So everyone who has a part to play whether it be a prayer scripture reading or special music or whatever I think it's in the statement here right coin this little fun phrase participation requires anticipation I can't tell you if somebody sitting here and let's say I were pierced welcome analysis right any way you can read the rest of it in your bulletin thank you so much for being here God bless you I got to sit down the next person who's up might be the often call or something and they're going to sit there and watch me leave. Their egos you know wait take a seat. Yes it's my turn now get up make my way over there then I'm going to begin to get my stuff prepared open the things that. Were waiting at the green light the whole car right I love it all should be ready actor part with problems anticipation participation requires anticipation don't wait until a previous participant is back in his or her seat before starting to get. To get that doesn't make any sense starting to get for your turn ready for your turn in the service there's a lot of typos in here thank you for your patients some other things that drag out the the program and make it swell bigger than it needs to be and we might hit some sacred cows here but I'm only helping mark with this all issues need to be told to Mark Howard if there's any issues that you know he's the director of the Emanuel is doing just a hired hand today. Limit children story link Ok. Ok now I know some are going to say and yeah it's a great idea but how you going to do it you going to get or for him to just stop. Yes Also we could have a whole thing about another even kidding about appropriate. Art I'll tell you my worst one. I won't say where but. We were in a small church one day and a guy came up to give the children story and talked about how there's this big house down the road they're all frayed to go by where we go with this and I'm sitting on the platform like here we go. At a big barn an old man was always mean we walk by get out my yard this kind of stuff Ok but he had this great big barn great big hate pile in his barn We'd love to get in there sneak in there and jump off we knew we would and he have a cot Hoey be so maybe one day and you tell it like it's off the get go stores kids are. And one day he snuck into the barn and I'm not kidding we found him hanging in the barn and I'm on the platform like. I teach us. And the lesson we learned is we never go in the barn when we're us I was like that's the lesson and that's the lesson right. My son was there that day. Now I didn't panic if we had like hey I didn't cause the scenes I didn't want to like alarm him hey maybe I heard some crazy maybe just pass right on by I don't know right so after church that is like Hey Henry How's it going Bob did you enjoy church well we got to talk like you were the children story. So yeah like what did you learn is like that was really fun to jump in the hay and stuff like good take away that lesson just stick stick there in the Lord but I'm tellin you it don't make the children story it's not ghost stories it's not scary stories it's not by the way stop giving my kids bad ideas. Have you ever noticed that it shows or one time when I was little I did this I says stop it they hadn't even considered that yet now they're going to I told this to my mom just told them to say we've been telling you stop it anyway please for the children so I make it positive make it uplifting maybe biblical make it centered on nature and sweet things like obedience and kindness and joy and happiness and get it over with and go back. Alright I'm done. But it's children stories one of those things that just kind of expands and grows and of course with the children offering it just kind of now there's nothing wrong with all of those elements but how we do it and why we do it when are we going to do it and services think about those things so it doesn't just become you know I've literally seen people they've just some churches will get into this later but they don't even say it's time for the children to other just have a piece of music playing and all the children just know to instinctively stand up like Pavlov's dog they begin to you know salivate for and they go for it if you're a visitor there I don't know why all these kids are getting up and why they're going down front and they start getting these cups and start handing them to people and I suppose with money what a weird thing you know but we don't ever expect visitors to be there everything is done just from because this is what we do and we know how to do it so we just don't even have to announce it. Totally lost that. Ok. Paniculata. Yeah Ok yeah if it's a thing they're used to get kids coming down front don't disappoint the children and friends like no story today go back and tell a story any and kids honestly will be thrilled with almost any store you threw out there right this morning while I was brushing my teeth I meet all his grades Pastor Mark. Oh that's true not just that he's there on a be clear on this the record not just any story a guess about this qualification anyway so yes how about this one now we've been talking about the quote unquote preliminaries which you've been to my saddest thing we should eliminate the word preliminary from a vocabulary when it comes to church stuff because nothing we do in the church should be preliminary nothing should be like oh it's the little thing before the real thing Nonono by the way Sabbath school is not a preliminary to the worship service it is a distinct feature with unique elements found nowhere else in the life of the church that's what you're small group fellowship that's where you get your Bible study and prayer that's where you get your your focus on the mission and you get training in Rishon reports and equipping it all you can't miss Sabbath school for preliminary to church and by the way the mission program is not a preliminary to the Bible study part of the Sabbath school like there are no preliminaries if you want a preliminary do a song service before the thing starts the welcome people come in but as soon as you say good morning St We're off to the races and from 930 let's say till 1230 everything should have a function and a purpose there should be a reason we're doing it not just filling the time May now. Be by saying that's put a lot on the you know scripture reading the children store in the prayer time and all this comes up but what about the real time. Which is the sermon if pastors would preach if they would follow the council of the Spirit of Prophecy and preach sermons half as long Church wouldn't take so take all day right I'll cede your concern I'll give you that one but I'll raise you. Some other thoughts Ok often the sermon gets blamed when the true fault lies with the tedious opening elements of the worship service many times people are ready to go before the sermon even starts you can preach a 5 minute sermon it still be too long because you had an hour worth of stuff just getting there Ok so let's be clear they were on that but yes Mrs White does have counts about preaching preaching shorter sermons but when I ask a question hey I don't hang on I should shouldn't give you the notes. If you notice that short and long are relative terms right if I hadn't passed this piece of paper out erroneously and I said what a short certainly but which is 83524020 I got 15 can I get a 10 Ok we're haggling down right but Ms White does have multiple comments we talks about half the time she prospective you know shorter she uses these terms but in this statement she marries that with some actual time element here we go she says link the discourses are a taxation to the speaker and a taxation to the hearers who have set to look so long one half the matter presented would be a more benefit to the here than the large mass poured forth by the speaker now if you had that you say see preacher but then she adds that which is spoken in the 1st hour is a far more value of the sermon closes then the words that are spoken in an added half hour there is a bearing up of the matter that has been presented so what is short and her terminology. An hour so my counsel is preach short one hour sermons Now if you want to go shorter Ok but clearly don't be mad at the pastors preach is more than 25 minutes that's one of the key elements of his job is to Brazil Bible truth and training and equipping and inspiration to the people right to leave them be so what it would be better to put prayer meeting back in prayer meeting but the testimonies in the outreach on the mission in the Sabbath school program the mission program and make the worship service simpler more streamlined more efficient than that full hour sermon by the way I've heard sermons that are 15 minutes long feel like an hour. And I've heard our long sermons that feel like 5 minutes right so the sermon sermon. Sermon value I'm just so the issue being there is responsible in the pastor to preach efficient messages they're full of quality content right in a reasonable amount of time but there's also the onus on the other participants to make sure that they're doing their part promptly that that when we go into the worship service we should be having a mindset of we're here for a purpose we're here to get training and to be inspired to go out and do and there should be kind of a March to the whole thing right purpose to it instead of just no expectation of follow up on the other way we're only here because we go through the round of service nothing's going to particular inspiring it's all going to go too long it doesn't matter if I'm late we need change our perspective on this is what Mr White means by disturbing the monotony of the religious round of service we all have a part in this to play other tips to keeping the service interesting focus on active ministries instead of merely the maintenance and utility costs when calling for an offering that goes to the local church budget. That's a pet peeve these are just a list of pet peeves So here we go. But one of those pet peeves is when you get up and like today our offering is for the local church budget and that's why we have the lights on and that's how we pay for the heat which is true but it implies that the only thing the church budget goes for is facility maintenance but people need education as to what their offerings go for even the local church right that there is Ministry the primary function of those offerings is to do the active ministry says church with sadness or outreach or evangelism and highlight some of those things that this is what this local and by the way we keep the lights on. So even everything that we do we should focus on the active ministries encouraging things not just the behind the scenes doldrum stuff Ok in the worship service you should promote the wonderful things happening in Sabbath school and prayer meeting you talk about Sabbath school like hey if you miss out of school you missed something you know I challenge people were asking if you're going to go to the saddest Sonoran talk about the globe it's more about. And I'm being half a ceases when we recommend this but I wonder what would happen if one Sabbath when everyone who was on time to the Sabbath school got $100.00. What would happen. What would happen next Sabbath it be full now you didn't put it in the bulletin you didn't announce that you didn't promoted it all you just did it one time how would other people find even out about it. Or think somebody would mention something they would come up in conversation a potluck Hey I got this $100.00 bill Where'd you get that I was like oh I was satisfied like oh you were next to us too bad. You missed something by the way we should make our status quo programs interesting enough and moving enough and powerful enough that if you missed Sabbath school you missed something. Put some of those good testimonies in the Sabbath school time put a bad tism in the Sabbath school time you know what happened it's Oh you missed it. We need to stop chasing people that's how we get things funneled into the worship service put the good stuff where it belongs and expect we'll be there and if they're not there they missed out but we're moving on we're doing this thing right the same thing every time you're like well wait 5 more minutes to get started as people are late you know what can happen next I'm going to start 5 minutes later just start and let people learn I had a teacher at Southern Dr Hill Osca saint of a man who loved the teacher I specially appreciate him after I was out of his class now that he had this habit of. Dealing with not attending students and what he would do is it was no he didn't take attendance and do any overt punishments or anything what he would do is at the opening bell if everyone who was in the room got a 5 point quiz for the day and if you weren't there you didn't get a copy of the quiz you didn't get to take the you didn't you missed out on those points so it's a self-inflicted discipline right and I remember distinctly because he was he was kind of cruel he would stand at the door and if you came in if you're before the bell you got one of your at the bell you got one but after the bell even if he had a stack of quizzes in his hand he would not hand you one he would turn and walk away with your potential points in his hand and you would sit there and watch everyone else take the quiz in your eliminating 1st of all you're angry at him how dare he you're right this is so unjust or ever ever ever ever Ah you know what happened next time I was there you better believe it because I knew that no amount of hassling with an argument going to change his mind and he was going to say some to me that would be you know right. Now you know you should have been here I know I should but you should be nice is all you can make nice happen for yourself to show up on time you know it would go back and forth so he would eventually so I remember my many occasions I would be you know basically half dressed none prepared my hair's all over but I would run. Down the promenade to get to this class because I needed that to keep my going and it was such an easy you know tennis model for him to show up and really it you know but we need to do something like that make the worship service count start the thing on time make everything have a purpose and interesting and if people miss stuff man that's that's their loss but we're not chasing them reverse rules come back anyway thought Ok let's get some more things. I like this one provide lyrics in leadership for singing like prayer songs a doxology all those kind of things we go to churches and they all have different routines and structures and they don't tell you when you're going to sit or stand or kneel or what songs we're going to sing and so the whole thing is scripted and choreographed so that everyone who's there knows what's going on this is when we stand this is the word because they don't put it up but they don't tell you and it's being a visitor at some of these sources even as a 7th Avenue as I have these difficult times I don't know what's going on right and I have to look around and we are we need are we going to get up are we going to listen to a thing or we're singing are we singing from here we singing from up to when the people come in to we kneel down and it's just it's a routine that people get again like Pavlov's dogs just get used to it and do it with no expectation that anybody else who doesn't know the routine will even be there which we should think like a visitor you know if the whole point of the church is to bring people to this message to share it with new people we should think how would they receive what we're giving what would be their experience if they came to my local church the Sabbath. And I mean that goes for everything I mean we're talking of the parking lot we're talking about the greeter that is the foyer I mean I went to one church it happened on the pastor the 1st thing that dawned on me when I walked in the foyer is that these people love plastic plants. I mean we have green and each little and you could tell that there wasn't like one clear theme or decoration it was like this person died so they got up their family put a painting up and that's what been there for 20 years the next person but a quilt up and then there's this it's just as haphazard you know but what does that tell visitors it's confusing it's unclear and if you're going to have plastic class dust them. Right. Make sure your light bulbs are not half blue light and half warm light and make sure they're all light to they're not just have you know I mean we're talking with the littlest things. I've got in my wife's permission to use this illustration but. She clucked her eyebrows which I think is weird I don't put my eyebrows I mean shame. You know I like doing them and should be like will be going out somewhere going to family thing or something if you like Hang on I got to do this and why it's we're going to be why it's just such a little thing nobody's looking at Care I've nobody cares. And it should be like you care. And I know I don't just like you do you don't know that you care you don't recognize you care but I know that you care and at peace with the little things that they make a cumulative effect right and when it comes to our local churches and a services the facility all the things we should be looking at it from the point of what's the most when some what we can put forward what's the clearest thing we can do what's the most hopeful way we can move through this process so that everybody knows what they're doing. That everything that we do has a purpose and it's inspiring it's encouraging it's and that we don't just fill up the search like what if we ended early would that be Ok sure I mean Mrs White was right on the nose when she said that we need to be ready to act or part with problems when it's a services over there on its debts simple and I think people would respond to that kind of simplicity and sincerity and suspicion this and then want to come back you know in that kind of a trick of the trade is to leave them wanting more again give clear instruction about children story offering prayer dismissal anything that happens up front explain it this is what we're going to do just didn't do it. Hold the microphone to your mouth and speak with confidence and enthusiasm you will get a front there like afraid like the disease is on the microphone or something they're going to catch something or they'll forget they have it and have it on here and I've been guilty of that before too but usually I speak loud enough that it compensates But then you have you know mumbling merry up there or something and just kind of bumble through and the reason you're there is to do a thing so just do your one job with confidence and then move on and the people will appreciate that you know respond to it right and of course smile it was it was White talks about how we shouldn't sing like a funeral dirge and we should be mournful you know this is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it right the set we should say happy Sabbath and mean it and model it and actually have a happy Sabbath and when people come to church and I even only get that out of the vocabulary when I say come to church I literally want people to stop inviting people to church starting fighting people to Sabbath school let him stay for church but when they come to be with them in the house of God with the people of God. They should be informed they should be inspired they should be encouraged and yes they can be convicted of sin right but look at x. factor 2 when the apostle Peter preached that fiery sermon literally a fiery sermon on the day of Pentecost He said You killed your own Messiah like 2 months ago 50 days earlier you killed God's son and they said men are brother and what shall we do and he wasn't just to bring the conviction of sin is like your center for this to lift them up and say there's still hope Jesus is standing repent and that day 3000 were added and it didn't say to him Jesus said to them the church is white says Christ brings people with them in the arms of the church this is what we're supposed to do practice this ministry of reconciliation in our church services and saddest pools could be all part of that let me just close the few notes on music I don't get you notes on music anyway. Because I know this is what I think boy if we want to make it interesting we got to fill it up with music that's what we need to do a couple of thoughts 1st of all I mentioned Acts chapter 2 I imagine the definite cause sermon is pretty interesting how much music was recorded in the book of Acts and accepted to specially none now does that mean that they had no music and music no probably sayings and hymns but was it clearly the thing that moves the people no it was the preaching of the word right it was that clear message right how much music should be our sorceresses include while this question is search for a strong opinions which is why I brought in the very end so we can have a debate. Likely in different directions some people we need more music some people the less music some people who seem to be better music in a different music we have a young music years old music hymns verses praise songs we're going to have that debate here Ok it is worth considering as we seek to improve our worship services at least it's something we need to talk about listen to the statement from ages in 511. She went to as a religious service and she wrote this council in some instances much time was devoted to singing is a good Amen she said there was a long him before prayer along him after prayer and much singing interspersed all through the meeting which any time you ever talk about improving the worship service this is always the suggestion the more song service you know one of the beginning when you want the end and maybe whole praise time in the middle she said thus golden moments were used unwisely and not one half the good was done that might have been realized had these precious seasons been properly managed Now that's not to say we should have no music but we shouldn't just think that all music is going to fix it let's just cram it all for music next no sincerity and whatever we do must be our highest consideration Listen to this one gorgeous apparel fine singing and instrumental music in the church do not call for the salt of the angel choir in the sight of God These things are like the branches of the unfruitful fig tree which bore nothing but pretentious leaves Christ looks for what fruit for principles of goodness and sympathy and love these are the principles of heaven and when they are revealed in the lives of human beings we may know that Christ is formed within the hope of glory a congregation may be the poorest in the land without music or outward show but if it possesses. These principles the members can sing for the joy of Christ is in their souls and this they can offer as a sweet ablation to God The point is that it's a temptation to make it more music than it or more entertaining more production value or more of this and that that's not what the Council calls for elaborate productions popular praise songs and platform décor don't automatically live in the service or interest young or old our greatest need is a spiritual revival not merely a revamped program I don't want you leaving here saying if we tweak this just right now no it needs to come from within from a spiritual location and out of that apply these principles in a way that when they come to church they've seen Jesus. So again let's close interesting doesn't mean entertaining I can't underscore this enough don't try to be entertaining you'll never outcompete the world they're better at it. This is why talk about this in great controversy page 463 popular revivals are too often carried by appeals to the imagination by exciting the emotions by gratifying the love for what is new and startling converts this game to have delivered desired to listen to Bible truths little interest in the testimony of prophets and apostles unless the religious service has something of a sensational character it has no attractions for them and message which appeals to an impassioned reason awakens no response the plain warnings of God's word related directly to their interests are unheeded Now I do believe that we can grow our church in ways that would actually be detrimental to our church we can do the popular revival route we can make it morning tame we can do more donuts and trinkets and you know music and production and lights and sound smoke machines and laser tag and all that stuff don't do it don't do it don't seek to be entertaining but the opposite America hating is not boring This is why it says we should be intensely interested the goal is neither sensationalism nor formal ceremony but simplicity and sincerity she writes when professing Christians reach the highest standard which is their put to reach the simplicity of Christ will be maintained in all their worship forms and ceremonies and musical accomplishments are not the strength of the church strength of the church is the power of the Holy Spirit the Word of God and the word of our testimony and that will live in the church. We've ended early. August people said. But with that remaining time I hesitate to open it to comment because I don't want to hear all the horror stories of things but are there any things that we could add to this because this is a work in progress is there something else that in fact assisted anything striking the want to comment real quick yes or. Having a instead of actually going around picking up the often just have a set place for it I can see why you'd want to do that but I don't know that be a recommended thing I haven't really thought that much about it but I've considered in the past a little bit I think there's something there's something special about seeing it right in front of you that you miss by having Oh yeah if it comes to you go in the back and go you know it needs to be part of a central part of the worship service one thing that bugs me I will tell you this when people don't pass the plate this I have only seen this in Michigan but I've seen it a bunch of places I don't understand what but they'll have the plate and they'll walk past and I'll full of people and there's stand there and like if someone has an offering like wave them to Ok I'll come to. Regard that you should pass it in there should be a special sense of Sabbath guilt you know like you like oh I should be doing something with that you know I think it needs to be put before them more broccoli and more clearly than just there's a box in the hall if you remember to you know that kind of thing I would have to go you got more offerings at 1st Ok And there could be an argument made either way but I think putting it straightforward right in front center is probably a better idea yes or. Sure Ok no problem well but different prayers have different functions so career for the blessing versus the past or prayer we pray for the sick versus praying for the offering receive what they're going to be different but I'll close this program as I probably close another program how about that Ok yes or 2 minutes of the Michigan conference yes or yes it was also very long. Good i would really hope and in all sincerity I would hope that link isn't the bottom line of whether something was good or bad that it would be content that's I'm saying it's content and it's beneficial that's what we really should be looking for not on a timer yes or. A journal. Or somebody really and I know that. For sure. Yeah I might. Write. It was Depends on who you are like if I were the past of the church I mean I would just go right to town to talk to the elders and say hey look let's look at this let's take a few weeks and 6 I mean you can move the ball pretty quickly if you're an elder you should be able to basically do the same thing even deacons by the way elders and Deacon they're both ordained they have the spiritual responsibility of care for the church and the church services should be a part of that especially maintenance stuff the deacons the worship service the elders I mean so those groups should be the number one then you have the board you can talk to or just and fluently people but I will tell you the thing that I wish people would do in the church more is not just wait until a person in a position does something because you know that regardless of whether there's a a recognized certified titled leader that there's someone else that everybody follows right I would Joe to win the true leader. And it may not be an elder may not be a deacon but just talk to those people of influence say like you know I've noticed this or using a thing like interest and then maybe talk to the pastor talk the elders say like I'm recognizing this what can we do about it or you know or just talk to me and I'm wrong but just kind of start moving the ship through conversation that way 1st but if you have a position of responsibility like an elder deacon or something I would if I was the head deacon I'd call a deacons meeting let's review our worships or let's review our When people drive in what they see what you know and just start looking at it through the visitor's eyes that's your job as well we had deacons meetings that's why we have elders meeting well we're supposed to have those meetings but people don't have them because we don't expect a doing but if you actually make those responsibilities part of your function again the central part of what you do that should help in a way we're 12 or one we've gone too long lest our heads forward gently Father thank you so much again for this day and thank you for the opportunity we had to cover this material in our session this morning please Lord help it not just to be Fieri and philosophy helping to be practical and relevant and applicable in each of our local church sessions bless every person here and every responsibility he or she may have in their local church so that everything that we do would be modeled after the council from heaven help everyone to get a little taste of heaven when they come to our churches and through our humble efforts and your great grace may people see Jesus be drawn to pray to Jesus. 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