Churches can have several preachers, without disorder

It is typical in modern churches for there to be one pastor who does all the preaching. However, that is not how it was done in the first century AD. Instead, there were typically several men from the congregation who would preach God’s word in the same church service:

Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; (I Corinthians 14:29-31).

Paul, here, is describing a way for all the church members to be spiritually and mentally involved in a church service. About two or three of them should speak God’s word, the rest should carefully pass judgment to make sure to make sure that nothing was said that contradicts the word of God. The congregation should not sit idly by and accept whatever is said without critical examination. Each and every preacher is fallible, and they should be respectfully admonished when they make mistakes.

Paul seems to also describe a scenario here where a speaker can be respectfully and orderly interrupted. He says that if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. He counsels the congregation to use patience and understanding, so that all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted.

Most churches do not do church this way. The reason is because it is very difficult to do what Paul is describing above without it descending into disorder. If we allowed our meetings to be “open” than, in many cases, the must uncontrolled and immature people would be the first to speak and try to monopolize the church service. It takes the careful involvement of the entire church, and wise oversight of the elders, to make sure that this does not happen.

So how can we implement this kind of involvement into the church today? The answer is: VERY CAREFULLY! I believe that most churches would indeed benefit if they depended less on a single pastor to do all the preaching; however, you must be very careful in how you go about changing a church. You must not abuse scriptures like the ones above to railroad your own opinions through against everyone else. All things must be done gently, with humility, order, and love. If You feel that God has placed a sermon on your heart to preach to the church, I suggest that you go to your pastor and/or elders and talk to them about it. Do not expect them to accept your responsibility to preach on “faith,” you must show them why it is important for you to preach the message that God has laid on your heart. Tell them what you intend to say so they can know that you will not preach heresy and abuse the pulpit.

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