The church Jesus Christ came to build is dynamic and flexible. It has survived poverty, persecution and prosperity. People have met together in temples, in restaurants, by rivers and from house to house, every day of the week and sometimes twice on Sundays. And the purpose of us gathering together is for mutual benefit. Like a potluck, you bring something and I'll bring something. We'll actively encourage each other and we'll glorify God together. It is not a program for spectators.
Is there any part of our physical bodies we don't want working properly? I doubt it. In like manner, Christ wants all of his body functioning together under his direction. Each member of that body (eyes, ears, feet, hands, etc, ) has a place and a purpose. And that purpose is to edify one another, not to merely occupy a pew. We grow when we give to and receive from each other. Consider this exhortation about why we gather together:
"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25.
By God's design, church is very participatory. The word “fellowship” by definition involves “partnership” and “participation.” When we gather together in Jesus name, we should all come together prepared to edify each other. Teachers should teach. Prophets should prophesy. Exhorters should give words of exhortation. Does this sound off the wall? Please read Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14 and Ephesians 4, and see if you still feel that way. Concerned about how this works in an orderly way? We'll talk about that soon. For now, know this: you are a valid and important part of the church and have worthwhile things to share.
I started ChristianHomeChurch.com as means of edifying the church to be the church. I plan to write, create videos, and invite others to contribute as well. If you have a comment, question, or a concern, please send an email and we'll address it in future posts. Let's pursue God together, both giving and receiving so that everyone will benefit.
So this is what I brought to the potluck. What did you bring?