When You Meet Together

What is the outcome of this, brothers and sisters? When you meet together, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. All these things must be done to build up the church.
-1 Cor. 14:26

I have a question.  What is a meeting?  Is a meeting just a gathering of people, where anything happens; or does every meeting have one thing in common; that you meet there?

Is going to a movie theater a meeting?  What if it is a film festival and there is a panel discussion and interview with the filmmakers, including questions and answers?  Is it a meeting then?

I believe it's a meeting if you meet.  If you can say, "I met someone", you were at a meeting.

There are "meet and greet" times built into events that are not meetings.  It's not a meeting, but an event.  The organizers know people like to meet; so they build the meet time in.  That does not make it a meeting, but an event where meet time is built in.

We have gatherings where the main thing is a speaker who speaks in a monologue.  But it it is not a meeting in the truest sense, because a meeting is where we meet.

Meeting means face time.  It means I see your face and you see mine, but it's more than that.  It means we all see each others faces and each person has a chance, many chances, to speak, to share and to express.

Meeting means we all meet each other.

Monologue and performance is not a true meeting.  The more you break up and stop the monologue or performance, the more meeting can take place, because meeting is about, "I met people".

It is true that in order to hear and be clear, we do need solo speech time.  I might say, "I need y'all to hush while I share, so you can meet me and hear what I bring to the meeting."

But the whole 'meeting time' is not my monologue or performance, because real soon, someone else gets to share or ask me a question or respond to what I just said.  You might not want to ask me something, but you might want to ask or say something to the person seated next to you, and that is ok too.

A meeting is about meeting.

The scripture from Apostle Paul says, "When you meet together, each one has..."  Each one has means, each one has.  It means that everyone gets to play.  It means everybody gets to share.  It means all can participate in the meeting.  It does is not say, "when you meet together, the speaker will speak or preach for 30, 60, or 90 minutes".  But that is what many meetings are. 

In this text which is descriptive, Paul describes a different kind of meeting, than what most western Christians are familiar with.  From our modern (modernity), western (Grecian-euro) influenced culture; we might look at the Corinthian Church Paul writes to as aberant (naughty and off the rails).  We might view the whole letter as correction with some beautiful side notes, like the love chapter.

When Paul says, "when you meet together", we might hear it as a rebuke.  This was a mess, chaos.  But, if you read all of chapter 14, or chapters 12 through 14; you will find out that there is much commendation, with some rebuke or correction.  The only way to see the Corinthian church or what they were doing as all bad, is to come to the text with a gigantic bias and we don't want to do that.

The meeting of the church that Paul describes here is a meeting where everyone gets a chance to participate.  We are so used to going to church meetings where we go to hear monologues or see the "one man show".

We have lost the art of leadership which is to create a space where everyone gets to participate.

The job of the shepherd is to protect the sheep from wolves and lead them to pasture.

"When you meet, each one has."  The meeting is a pot-luck buffet.  Each person brings something.  If one person has had a bad week, they might bring a sorrowful song of lament.  We want to hear them, acknowledge them (get them), and comfort them.  We might want to come along side them as they trade their sorrows for the joy of the Lord, or we might just sit beside them in their grieving

Each person may bring something.  What did you bring to share?

We come to church, the church meeting, having spent time with God.  We might have been on assignment, or we might have received something from God, we want to share.  'Each one', means more than one, everyone.

What is the outcome of all this meeting and sharing?  The building up of the church.  The variety of sharing and caring, meeting and receiving each other is mutual edification.  There is a spiritual nutritional benefit from the variety of sharing that all the people bring.

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