Lately the Bible study I’ve been doing has focussed on 1 Corinthians and one of the lovely parts of the ensuing discussion has been hearing stories of the faith-heritages of the ladies in our group.
Some of us were brought up in conservative churches, some in pentecostal, and some seemed to move around a bit more. We’ve had some gentle discussions about prophecy and speaking in tongues and the place of head coverings in church. We are all young mums, though, and all of us are wanting to be in an environment which is healthy for the spiritual growth of our families.
This last week I really enjoyed hearing one of our group whose heritage is with the brethren church telling us about services where a chunk of time was devoted to people sharing what they felt the Holy Spirit had put on their hearts to share. What struck me most about the very idea of these unprepared presentations was the level of trust which must exist in the church. Trust to speak what is dear to your heart in front of others; trust to allow someone to speak and be heard; and trust that God’s Spirit is speaking in the church today.
In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul is pretty strong on a few points. The number one recurring point is that everything that happens in a church meeting should be for the building up of God’s church, and the close second is that all things should be orderly and participants should operate with self-control.
It got me wondering if we leave room for the Holy Spirit to get God’s message out in our meetings throughout the church? Obviously MOPS is an outreach ministry and so the presentation of God’s message has to be able to be grasped by someone who doesn’t yet know Christ. But have we taken the chance this year to prayerfully make space in our carefully crafted mornings to allow room for a message inspired by the Holy Spirit? Are there moments when the running sheet needs to be overlooked and the spirit of the morning can be given space to move? The mornings for this might be few and unexpected, but let’s keep our eyes and hearts open for the moments to slow and speak the words that God might put on our hearts, be it quietly to our neighbour or bravely from the front.
“Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.” 1 Cor 14:12