A letter that Paul never wrote to Timothy…
I‘m writing this letter to you in order to help you lead the congregation during your weekly church meetings, especially regarding understanding the Lord’s presence and worship. There are also some important issues you talked about in your last letter regarding this very subject that I wish to address. As I have traveled recently, I have observed certain things that I believe you need to be made aware of . For one, I know that you are not including certain things in your worship services that help the everyday believer feel the presence of God. The using of a Shofar, or interpretive dance or the waiving of flags and banners. I am witnessing other churches do this and I say that this is a must. In my explanation below, you will find the answers to your previous letter.
People aren’t satisfied with knowing and understanding that it is God within them, the very Spirit of Christ within them that is their hope of glory! It is a very frustrating thing, but if we want to continue growing the numbers of your church congregation, we need to focus more on exterior factors to help people grasp God’s presence.
To put it another way, how can people know if God’s presence is there unless we blow on the Shofar, shout, raise our hands, run around, dance or wave some flags and banners? How are they to get excited about God if none of these things take place? It is definitely a good idea to have your announcers or elders ask the congregation if they can feel His Presence and challenge them to ‘press in’ to His presence and to ‘be hungry’ for God and His Presence.
You see, Timothy, as if I needed to repeat myself with you, people need external assurance and signals that God is present. We have witnessed in countless towns and gatherings that our teaching that God now resides within the believer is fruitless to a point because of this excessive need for an external assurance. They quickly receive it with gladness but the ‘novelty’ of that teaching, for lack of a better word, seems to fade quickly. So hopefully you can see, Timothy, how we need to have these indicators in the church services to let people know God’s Spirit has ‘arrived’ or that His Spirit is ‘moving’. We don’t want them to miss out on God now, do we?
For men such as you and I, it is enough to have faith in and rest in the hope that we no longer have to do spiritual jumping-jacks to please God or to ‘bring’ His Presence in to any place, for He is with us always. Our hope resides in the resurrected Christ and His indwelling Spirit never leaving us nor forsaking us, even if we cannot ‘feel’ anything. This faith, this hope and knowledge brings forth a natural form of praise and worship that takes many more forms than just song and dance, even though you and I have shared in a hymn or two in fellowship. This being said, I have full assurance that you will honor me in this request and do as I am instructing you to do with your worship service. In doing so, I guarantee that people will feel more fulfilled during worship time and be more excited to hear whatever you decide to talk about. And more importantly, church attendance will definitely grow.
I look forward to hearing your report and seeing the growth of your church when I return to you again.
Grace and Peace in Christ.