...everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
1 Corinthians 14:40
What was the Apostle Paul calling for in this verse? Orders of Service? Lectionaries, liturgies, and canons? Is this the excuse for minister orchestrated meetings and sergeants-at-arms to enforce order? I don't think so, considering he's spent the whole chapter before helping Christians understand that a congregational meeting is about participation, not observation. Participation is stifled by co-opting leadership and trampled by mob chaos. Paul attempted to teach a middle road which allowed the fullest possibility of participation, without having the loudest or the strongest take over to everyone else's detriment.In other words, our services should be arranged (kata taxin) [ordered] with full participation in view. Our participation should be offered in good form (euschemonos) [decently]. Paul was not telling us to idolatrously substitute the direction of our meetings by a guy up front for the leading of the Holy Spirit! I'm beginning to wonder, however, whether or not that is what we're most comfortable with.
God in charge means mystery, uncertainty-- the possibilities that our hearts will be laid bare with no place to hide except in the love of Christ. We might not get out in time to get a table at the restaurant. With that in view, please be advised: when the Holy Spirit drops into our meetings and asks to take our order, he doesn't mean he's there to kowtow to our wishes!