I do believe that in leading The Gathering Paula & I are privileged and blessed to be leading something quite exceptional.

This is not a boastful post, but rather a celebration of church and how The Gathering is (in my view) a quite excellent church.

Many will speak of the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:5) but few seem to allow it to flourish in the day to day reality of church life, but it's something that has always been a bit of a defining edge to our ministry.

And I think those that have visited The Gathering would agree that the priesthood of all believers defines the church.

At The Gathering we actively encourage participation by the members, be it in prayer, sharing a word from God, starting a song, opening our worship or preaching as well as getting involved in our practical ministries during the week. 

What we don't do, and quite simply refuse to do is control who can share and how they share. This is not to say our Sunday Gathering's are disorderly, they most certainly are not. However, we don't have a microphone conveniently positioned beside a leader who will then hear what someone wants to share and then decide if it can be shared or not. We've been a part of so many churches that use this practice and I seriously dislike it!

If a member (we don't let random strangers share) has something to share which they believe is of God then who are we to stymie it? If what they are sharing is of God and it resonates with our spirits then we'll roll with it, if what has been shared doesn't resonate with us, we simply carry on and let it fall away. No histrionics, no shaming of anyone, just allowing the Holy Spirit to move amongst the body of the church, ministering where needed for God's glory, not the leadership's.

This Sunday it was a joy to allow Kuda his first ever opportunity to share in church as he opened our worship. He was blown away by being allowed the opportunity and we were blown away by the grace and wisdom with which he opened our Gathering. We were further blessed as virtually every member shared something brief during our Gathering, it truly felt like the priesthood in action.

This coming Sunday will be another exciting and exceptional Gathering as three of our female members (including one leader) will each be sharing a short 7 minute word. It's been a long time since we last had a *7 Minute Challenge* Sunday and this one is going to be amazing.

Thank you LORD!


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