"How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification." I Corinthians 14:26
The above verse is extremely important for understanding the gathering of the early church. Paul tells us that many people were actively involved in what was happening. Instead of only a few people being active, which is what we see today, this verse suggests that basically everyone (notice the word "each") was involved.
This tells me that the early church prepared for their gatherings.
I'm not suggesting that they prepared something specific to say. What I am saying is that they prepared themselves to be ready to be involved. They may have prepared in advance (for example a teaching), or they may have simply been ready for the Holy Spirit to tell them what to say as they gathered.
The point is that the early church seems to have arrived at their place of meeting with a plan for group involvement. Each person was prepared to speak in one way or another. Each was prepared to follow the Holy Spirit in exercising his or her spiritual gifts. As they headed into the gathering, they may have had no idea as to what they were going to say. They were, however, ready to speak.
They knew that what they said had to be edifying. Paul makes this clear.
They knew they would be involved. They were prepared to speak.
We can learn a lot from this. Far too often today many people arrive at the church gathering ready to listen. This is fine - listening is good. However, if we are going to follow the model set forth for us in scripture, we will also come ready to speak.
Let's be prepared.