Summary: There is an early pattern for communal worship shown in this passage. It is quite different to how we do it, today, and really involves, equips and builds the body of Christ!

Gifts of the Spirit 12: “All involved worship”. 1 COr 14:26-33. WBC 14.11.04am

Hymns For All Things:

The Dentist’s Hymn:.....Crown Him with Many Crowns

The Weatherman’s Hymn.....There Shall Be Showers of Blessings

The Contractor’s Hymn:.....The Church’s One Foundation

The Tailor’s Hymn:.....Holy, Holy, Holy

The Golfer’s Hymn:.....There’s a Green Hill Far Away

The Politician’s Hymn:.....Standing on the Promises

The Optometrist’s Hymn:.....Open My Eyes That I Might See

The Tax man’s Hymn:.....I Surrender All

The Electrician’s Hymn:.....Send The Light

The Shopper’s Hymn:.....Sweet By and By

The Massage Therapists Hymn.....He Touched Me

AND for those who speed on the highway - a few hymns:

45mph..........God Will Take Care of You

55mph..........Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

65mph..........Nearer My God To Thee

75mph..........Nearer Still Nearer

85mph..........This World Is Not My Home

95mph..........Lord, I’m Coming Home

Over 100mph....Precious Memories


Well- long before the debates of whether corporate worship should involve

- the projectors of 2000… the OHP of the 90s… the hymn books of the 80s… the guitars and drums of the 70s… the flares of the 60s…. the songs of the 50s or the hymns of old… the organs of the 1800s… the Wesleyan pub-tunes of the 1700s… Gregorian chant…silence…Latin or the vernacular…. The abomination of music instruments at all… or acapella

… we have a pattern of corporate worship laid down in the Bible

- there’s lots more in there as well

o “make a joyful noise to the Lord” Ps 66;1, 88:1, 95:1

o Ps 150:3 Praise Him with harp, lyre, tambourine, dancing, clash of cymbals,

 These are 1000 years older than this passage

o Eph 5:19 Psalms (their hymn book), Hymns (their modern hymns, poetry & meter), spiritual songs (their modern heart- touching ditties)

But this, here, is the first example of an ‘order of service’

- (order being an operative word as that that is something they really had a problem with… unlike us!)

There are other styles of corporate worship portrayed in the NT that are helpful to us

- but they still convey this sense of order AND spontaneity

ie Acts 13:2 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

- Literally: while they were liatorgia’ing. …while they were going through the liturgy, the Holy Spirit said

So- here’s something really important!

- important to this passage… Paul

o having spoken about how the Spirit manifests Himself through all the congregation- he’s back to it, again

o this is the final parenthesis of the ‘spiritual dynamic’

- important in history

o earliest Christian pattern available

- important to us

o felt that as I prepared. Sense of importance

o something that has brought SO much blessing to us over the last few years as people have

 played their part. Brought words, testimonies, prophecies

 has been a sign…outworking…cause even…of our growth.

 HUMBLY say: is one of our strong points (pm, particularly)

• Though we still have further to go. There’s much more of God’s DYNAMIC to experience

In fact- I reckon you can tell something of the health of an individual… a congregation… but how much people are involved

- yes, outside the services… in SERVICE

- but also within a service

If people readily pray, respond, interject (in the right way)… bring a word… start up a song… bring a prophecy or tongue and interpretation that builds up all

- it tells you SO much:

o that they’ve come prepared!

 Hot!

 To give, participate… not just sit as passengers

o That it won’t be long before they are going to the ends of the earth!

o That the people of God… the BODY is being empowered… and this body will outlast any pastor!

 It’s true! The church is the PEOPLE…not just the one or two people who are set aside to lead

 What good is it… what’s the point if all the ‘power’ lies there (…. On a Sunday)

• They work their backside off

• It becomes their ‘baby’

• Everyone else spectates

o Waits for others to do ‘it’

• When Pastor goes it all collapses!

What’s the point of that, then? (not least because the commission of God on leaders is to build up the BODY!)

- this is no criticism of ANY church

o but big is not always beautiful in God’s eyes

o He wants INDIVIDUALS built up…not an empire built up

 Sometimes folks hide from God, each other and ‘being built up’ in big churches

Can I say this humbly again. What God has done in you, and US… will last beyond me… any individual… because the LORD has done something in you, and YOU have participated in it.

- we now need to spread more of it into our HGs and morning congregation



The context here is quite different from that of our culture

- in our culture corporate worship has been

o worship: led by one or at most 2 people (not ‘everyone has a hymn’ but ‘one person has a hymn’)

o word (not ‘everyone has a word of instruction’ but ‘one person has an instruction’)

But we’ve done far better on those two than the others:

- ‘everyone has a revelation or tongue and interpretation’

o ‘very few have a revelation’ is how it would read for us!

So our need has been to push into these things

The Corinthian context was almost the exact opposite

- they were wild at bringing things


o Paul doesn’t say ‘stop it!’

o He says ‘do it!’… but do it in order… and do it to build others up

As mentioned in other sermons, it seems they were expressing themselves and their freedom in a way that was detrimental to others

- mass confusion

- interruptions. No ‘flow’

- selfishness. Unintelligibility

- ‘I’ve simply got to! The LORD is making me’

Actually, I’ve hardly ever encountered that in our culture

- we’re hardly going off the deep end in our expression and enthusiasm

o once: blab la bla in tongues. “I couldn’t help myself’. Explained ‘yes you can…just do it in the right place/way’/ “okay!”

o a couple of times: “I’ve gotta bring this word, the LORD is telling me I must”

 (which made it pretty clear He wasn’t… or He wasn’t telling them to bring it, then).

But- for all THEIR abuse, Paul says

- “yes, when you come together, everyone has a hymn (lit psalm, their book), a ‘teaching’, a ‘revelation’


Everyone has a part to play… and they all come primed and ready to share their gifts, thoughts, inspirations

- as the Spirit leads

- for the common good. To build others up

o (so there’s no sense of someone having to sing a 30 year out of date solo because it makes them feel good!)

Self is aside on this! It’s for the good of the body! It’s All involved… and Spirit led.

- at times there is no ‘order of service’- but there IS order… as God’s people sensitively follow His Spirit

o because HE is a God of order, not chaos

So- the Spirit is the conductor, we are the participators (instruments, if you like)

- and GOD is the audience!

o Not us!

?[Listen! If all you can do is feel miserable and unstimulated in a service

- 1) you’re in a minority

- 2) you’re missing out! Don’t you want to get back to what you once had?

- 3) MAYBE you’re forgetting that this is for an audience of One- and HE is watching!]

This is something we should be aiming for! Growing in. Bringing God’s blessing amongst us… to others… in this way

- and it can’t happen without YOU.

so- can I ask you- come prepared. On Sat & Sun morning be asking God about the service… ‘what should I bring?’.

- come prepared

- it will take you only minutes to get into the (felt) presence of God… and you’ll take the congregation with you!

- You will be FED for the whole week

o And know you need it! God’s people deserve it!

Particularly next Sunday (am + pm!)

Let me tell you- it is GREAT to stand up and preach in that environment

- (cf last Sun pm!

- You can stand up, too!)


And, here’s what’s so great. There are some guidelines to make sure

- stay balanced

- don’t go off the rails

Paul’s guidelines are

- make sure it’s not about ‘self’. Bring what will build others up

- make sure it’s not ALL one thing

o all songs, or all teaching, or all prophecy or tongues

o (that’s a good guideline, isn’t it. We can get locked into our preferred one)

- make sure there is not too much of one thing

o two or three tongues + interpretation

o two or three revelations

o a few testimonies… stories

o a few words of instruction from the Bible

o a few songs

So-how do we need to balance?

- perhaps a few less songs some time?

- Certainly more revelations, tongues + interpretations

- More testimonies. More spontaneous songs-

And now we’re going to do some of that balance stuff

- some impromptu stuff. A song

- and then some ‘laitorgia’

o time of remembrance led by Katy

o in between hymns etc –YOU can bring prayer for our war torn world

Song: All we’ve received