Meeting

I read this excellent article by Lionel Woods on the ecclesiological question of how the church should meet:


So the best option would be to look at the letters and attempt to develop consistent instructions and themes to see how the church should meet. Here is what I see. All of the Pauline epistles accept for four were written to the church, yet it is odd that the letters written to individuals have been used to construct how the church should meet (pastorals?). In each of these letters addressed to the church, leaders are mentioned in passing and decision making, teaching, caring for one another, and doctrine was in the hands of all of those who met together. Each member is held responsible for the edification of his brother not a select few, yet in most of our churches it is the exact opposite. Responsibility is with the whole and never does Paul address leaders separately in his writings, yet everything happens with leaders and flows down in our churches. Meals also seem to be important, important enough for Paul to spend a great deal of time making the Lord’s Supper and a full meal one in the same thing (just saying).
So, there seems to be a pattern. This pattern is, the whole church edifies, the whole church makes decisions, the whole church serves, the whole church instructs and no division between leaders and non-leaders. Just one body functioning together. Oh yeah, I missed one important thing. The familial language is inescapable. None of the churches seem to have rigid organization, I am not saying that this was to be the way it should be until the Groom returns, just what I can clearly see from the text.
So again the church could be described as a tight knit group of family members working together for the good of all. There focus seem to be Jesus and allegiance to Him which builds allegiance to one another in order to reflect His glory to the world they found themselves in.


I've made the mistake of beginning a discussion about how we need to do church differently with "the church is not a building". The real issue is not where we meet, but how we meet. Those who are leaders also have the challenge of how should we lead. If we want to meet more like what is described in the NT and articulated by Lionel, we will have to lead differently.

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