What Should a Christian Gathering Look Like? What is the Church- Continued

I’m still exploring what it is to be the church.  At this time, I am not attending a formal gathering.  I’m really not comfortable with that, but that is the direction the Lord has led me.  I still give.  I certainly consider myself part of the church.

It’s not that I don’t gather with believers.  I do.  I do not nor never have believed in “lone ranger” Christianity.  Currently I meet with other believers a couple of times a week for periods of extended worship, prayer, and listening to God.

It’s not a formal gathering.  There is no preacher.  There is no formal teaching.  People do step out in a number of ways according to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Is this the church?  I believe it is.

Now there will be many that will challenge this because we don’t do an hour-long teaching when we gather.  Frankly in the case of those I am gathering with,  we are all mature Christians who spend a great deal of time studying and reading the scriptures ourselves.

Even though it’s not a one stop shop, I do consider this a gathering of “the church.”  I’m still getting comfortable with this idea because I’ve always been a part of the “one stop shop” type of gatherings before.

The interesting thing is that even though we have no “formal” teachings, our informal discussions about what the Lord is showing us in scriptures is far more lively and for me life changing than what I get from “sermons.”

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4 Comments

Filed under community, Relationship, The Believer, The Church

4 responses to “What Should a Christian Gathering Look Like? What is the Church- Continued

  1. Mark

    I appreciate your comments. Approximately 7 years ago I stepped out of organized church, and then spent the next several years recovering from what organized church did to me, almost like an alcoholic. There were so many thought processes that had become ingrained in my mind, and these had to be “cleaned out”, so to speak, to allow my mind to be a clean slate for the Spirit to write on. My previous church ways were so ingrained that I even questioned the existence of God, because, if church isn’t what i was told it was, maybe its all a farce. I quickly developed a strong belief in the existence of God, and reaffirmed the core beliefs I grew up with, and then went on to have the weeds pulled out of my spiritual garden, so to speak. I spent the next 7 years walking basically “alone”. I did not have like-minded brothers and sisters to fellowship, and fellowship with other Christians was difficult because they couldn’t accept where I was. I finally finished my “desert” experience, and in the last year the Lord has begun knitting my wife and i together with some other brothers and sisters in town, who are like-minded. The fellowship has been tremendous, as you’ve described. I believe the Lord, through His Spirit, is beginning a work nationwide/worldwide to establish His church on the earth, on His terms. I believe He is starting with small groups, and growing them into the fullness of what he wants us to be, as individuals and as communities. Sorry for the length of this post. I wanted to encourage you in the path you find yourself on.

    • YES!!!! My wife and I were asked to leave a large church last year. It was the best thing that could have ever happened to us. The leadership was very authoritative, and even did not like anyone asking any questions.
      We have been seeing God move in our lives powerfully, daily by the Holy Spirit. We have been involved in hundreds of hours of study and research about the origins of church, and the vast difference in the ekklesia of the first century and institutional church of today.

  2. thebigpicmin

    These informal gatherings are Biblical. Our church gatherings are not! They have many pagan roots. Take a look at this review of Viola’s Pagan Christianity:

    http://krusekronicle.typepad.com/kruse_kronicle/2008/01/pagan-christian.html

    here’s and excerpt:

    A great many of our church practices are justified as faithfulness to “biblical” Christianity, yet none of the following practices were part of the first century church:

    * Worship in a dedicated building – Began late third century to early fourth century.
    * Order of worship – The medieval mass dates back the sixth century and Pope Gregory the Great. PC traces the various mutations in orders of worship through Protestantism to the present but a formal order of worship does not appear to have been a concern for the early church.
    * Priests and clergy – The concept of priest or clergy, in contrast to laity, does not exist in the New Testament. These are categories that emerged in the second through fourth centuries. After tracing the evolution of this through Protestantism, PC hits especially hard on the negative impact this has had on “every member functioning” and how it has created a highly dysfunctional (and destructive) environment in which pastors must function.
    * The Sermon – Early services appear to have been times of orderly but wide open sharing and singing. As mutual sharing died out in the third century and a specialized class of clergy began to emerge, classically trained clergy began to import Greco-Roman forms of rhetoric into the worship service, delivered by a professional.

    This is an article that addresses the main problem:

    http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/gatherings-about-god-or-gatherings-with-god/

    Please don’t worry about what others think. Seek the Lord and follow him! Remember we are to offer our lives as a living sacrifice:

    Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

    God Bless
    Glenn

    PS Here are the essentials of a true worship service:

    http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/believer-gathering-essentials/

  3. Glenn,
    We are with you brother, God is speaking to the valley of dry bones even at this very moment.

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