So here's what I want you to do. When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight.
If prayers are offered in tongues, two or three's the limit, and then only if someone is present who can interpret what you're saying.
Otherwise, keep it between God and yourself.
And no more than two or three speakers at a meeting, with the rest of you listening and taking it to heart.
Take your turn, no one person taking over.
Then each speaker gets a chance to say something special from God, and you all learn from each other.
If you choose to speak, you're also responsible for how and when you speak.
When we worship the right way, God doesn't stir us up into confusion; he brings us into harmony. This goes for all the churches - no exceptions.
Wives must not disrupt worship, talking when they should be listening,
asking questions that could more appropriately be asked of their husbands at home. God's Book of the law guides our manners and customs here. Wives have no license to use the time of worship for unwarranted speaking.
Do you - both women and men - imagine that you're a sacred oracle determining what's right and wrong? Do you think everything revolves around you?
If any one of you thinks God has something for you to say or has inspired you to do something, pay close attention to what I have written. This is the way the Master wants it.
If you won't play by these rules, God can't use you. Sorry.
Three things, then, to sum this up: When you speak forth God's truth, speak your heart out. Don't tell people how they should or shouldn't pray when they're praying in tongues that you don't understand.
Be courteous and considerate in everything.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)