For years – decades really – I’ve been meeting with other Christians. These gatherings have taken place in many settings, from formal, large Sunday services to small groups in a living room. It is especially in those small group settings that I’ve seen an interesting phenomenon.
Many times an enthusiastic leader, when inviting people to such a get together, says something like “Come over to my house and we’ll just see how the Lord leads.” My observation is that after about the third meeting, and often even before that, the Lord happens to be leading the same way every time… The leader says “Let’s open in prayer.” Then we sing a few songs. Then we launch into whatever is on the agenda for the evening – a book study, Bible study, listening to a mini sermon, etc. – followed by a closing comment or prayer(s).
Every time… it’s the same thing. Yet the well-intentioned leader says that we’re going to meet as “the Lord leads.”
I have a couple questions: Is the Lord in that much of a rut? Is the creator of the universe really that un-creative? Can He not think of anything else for us to do when we get together? Or is the pray-sing-study-pray formula truly the one and only divine way to meet? (Oh, how I hope not!) You’d think that just once in awhile, the Lord would want to watch a basketball game with His people, or just sit around and hear how their weeks went.
In fairness to glorious groups who have given me glimpses of the other side, I must admit that some of the above is the ranting of one disenchanted. I do know that there are those who are finding Jesus in a corporate way outside the stale formulas. May we all find each other.