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How can we structure Sunday morning services to be more open to the work of the Holy Spirit?

Let's agree that structure and openness to the Spirit are not contradictory priorities. Paul urged spirituals to be operated "decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14:40). Likewise, planning a service is not inconsistent with being open to the Spirit. God carries out plans he arranged long before the events happen (Isaiah 25:1), so he can certainly give leaders a plan for the service a few days before Sunday morning!

Recognize, too, that the larger the group assembled together and the more defined the ending time for a meeting, the less possible it is for many people to exercise a spiritual gift. Smaller gatherings, without predetermined elements or an "order of worship," will always be the ideal setting for several people to benefit others through an operation of the Spirit—teachings, revelations, prophecies, words of knowledge, etc. (see 1 Corinthians 14:6, 26).

Still, we want our Sunday services to be led by the Spirit—and to model an ever-eager readiness to respond to his leadings. ...

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