Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What Do You Do When You Gather?

"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." (I Cor. 14:26, ESV)

"What should you do then, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each one has a song, has a lesson, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all these things be done for the strengthening of the church." (I Cor. 14:26, NET)

"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 Cor. 14:26, NKJV)



On this blog I write quite a bit about the reason for church gatherings: mutual edification.

This topic is critical for at least three reasons. First, the scriptures are clear that this is in fact the purpose of the church coming together (see for example I Cor. 14:26 above in three different translations). Second, many Christians today have no idea that this is the reason for meeting; instead, they believe it is for "worship" (which they have no ability to define). Third, the church is in desperate need of more mutual edification. This is the only way it will move past its largely immature state.

Keeping in mind that God wants us to gather for edification, I have a specific question for you: What do you do when you gather?

I'm not speaking in generalities here. Rather, I'd like to hear specifics. What do you do personally? Also, what does your group do?

I'm not going to jump on you for anything I disagree with. I may question you on it, but nothing disrespectful. Frankly, my hope as always is to learn through challenging discussion. That said, what do you do?

I'd very much like for you to leave your answer in the comments section. Thanks.

2 comments:

T Aagard said...

On Monday nights I meet for BSF - Bible Study Fellowship. I have a two sided sheet of Questions I am answer from a selected portion of John. When we meet, the brothers are led through the questions by the facilitator. He guides all in being participants. There is not enough time because they reserve time for everyone to be in one room for a lecture on the text by a business man. No one gets paid. Everyone comes prepared to share from time studying God's word. Simple and effective.

On Sunday I attend corporation church, usually with my 96 year old mother, but sometimes at a church where I know someone. I ask God to connect me with someone that I can introduce the concepts of 100% participation church. I am planting seeds. I try to follow up with them afterwards. Just this Sunday a woman that has known for 40 years asked me how how I was doing. The conversation turned to church life. She was very open to considering what the scriptures say. Sitting next to her was the woman who taught me in 2nd grade so they both took in my introduction. I have shared with perhaps 5 other people in this church. This is the church where I was baptized when I was 13.

Yesterday and today my mother and I went to a conference of pastors from a certain Baptist association. I know people there and my mother knows people there for 70 years. I was able to share with 4 pastors, one pastors wife, and one missionary about what I call 100% church. Two of the pastors went to college with me. My parents helped to start this college, now university before I was born. One pastor, the youngest one, was not open at all to interact. His church is less than a mile from my work and he grew up with me in my home church for the 4 years I attended there. He is open to meet to pray together. I'll accept that option. He has a deep respect for my father since the time he was a child. The missionary was the most open and eager to know more. I gave him a copy of my book. He is helping Brazilian churches to send missionaries to other countries. He sees the problem of trying to send missionaries when the local church is set to consume 95% of their giving just to get their own "needs" met. They are merely repeating the American form of church that consumes 84% of the giving. He also understood the tragedy of men claiming they have authority over other believers.

I meet at other times with believers in google hangouts. This is with an organic group of people who are connected through LK10.com. We use Google hangouts to meet. They feature a form of church called CO2 or church of two. They teach a very simple form of two believers connecting at the heart level as many times a week as possible. It can be done over the phone. It is a very reproducible form that is easy to teach others. I have one issue with their "leaders" but I don't need to address that here. This form is great for even a husband and wife to establish short, intimate heart updates for building a strong spiritual bond in marriage.

Eric said...

Tim,

Thank you for responding. It is edifying to me to see all the different ways you meet with the body of Christ. I appreciate your consistency in promoting the activity of all members. I'm sure it is a struggle at times since so much of the church in this country is dominated by the clergy/laity divide. Keep it up brother!