The following verse is actually in the Bible, but we don’t know what to do with it, really.

“What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up” (1 Corinthians 14:26).

We are totally flummoxed when we consider—if we consider at all—what to do with this verse.

So, we just don’t attempt to deal with it at all. This is heartbreaking, because Paul tells us here that these things are to be done for the “building up” or edification of the Church when it gathers. We sincerely want strong, mature believers to serve along with us, but we steadfastly ignore this biblical way it is to be accomplished. We somehow think that if the worship team brings the music and the pastor preaches the message, those ministries will be sufficient to build Christians up. Unfortunately—tragically—this is not how the Bible says this strengthening happens. The consequence in the Church of our indifference to the truth of Scripture in this area is predictable: weak believers. The people who diligently study and pray to present the lessons and lead us in worship may be strengthened as they spend hours in prayerful preparation, but everybody else is relatively weak because they’re not given the biblical opportunity to do what just a few people are privileged to do.

According to our way of thinking, everyone sharing a lesson as 1 Corinthians 14:26 indicates, would be chaos. How in the world could we possibly do this? Instead of gaping in paralyzing bewilderment at this verse, however, perhaps we should step back from our current model and ask the Lord how He wants His Word fulfilled in the Church. Or, we can just continue as we have and ignore this verse from the Bible and toss it out the ecclesiastical window, like a faded flower that once graced our sacred table but has unattractively dropped its browning petals.

Because of our lack of attention to God’s instruction concerning His Church, our leadership structure is swaying on the brink of a tragic collapse.