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Keeping Spontaneity on Track

When you open worship to spontaneity, you may get some unwanted help. Here are ways to minimize the less than helpful.

1. Be clear about what should be shared—how you are currently growing in God. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14 that we come together for the whole body to be edified. This is not the place to discuss your concerns about church issues, or to rebuke other believers.

2. Don't fear silent pauses. Most people need several moments to settle on something they might share. Remember the silence seems at least twice as long to the person up front as it does to anyone else.

Instead of saying something like, "Surely someone has something they can say to glorify God this morning," give people freedom. "Please don't feel any obligation to share. If no one has anything, we'll move on in a moment. But if you have something, please don't let fear keep you from sharing it."

3. During the week, when you hear people talk about things they are learning, encourage them to share it with the ...

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