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.”