We live an age where many christians have moved beyond the idea: that the church is a building. However, what often remains largely unchallenged – is the idea that the church is the meeting- the gathering. Yes, its good to meet together – don’t forsake meeting together as the scriptures enjoin – but do you know why? If you do it because its just a religious duty or custom alone – I think you should be asking why!
Facebook or Internet church?
Now, I’m not promoting or advocating Facebook or Internet church or even some other model to replace meeting together (not that these ways of relating are useful). Why? Because, I do believe that there is something special about meeting together as church in the name of Jesus.
There is the potential for something supernatural to happen:
Galatians 3:5 “He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
However, meeting together does not necessarily guarantee the presence of the Lord. It is in his name we meet. In other words its on His behalf. Sadly, often meetings are in the name of those running them – so they become religious without any power.
Jesus didn’t come to start another religion. He came to introduce us to a relationship with papa – called eternal life.
In fact, Jesus models what real church is about – surprise, surprise! HE didn’t come to start a religion. Indeed, he said about the one he grew up in, that he came to fulfil the law not erase it!
No, Jesus introduced a kingdom a brand new way of living and we as the church get to introduce people to it! Becoming a Christian isn’t a get of jail card; a short cut to heaven. No we are the privileged ambassadors for a heavenly king! We have a job to do! We are all ministers and priests to God.
So, what is the purpose of believers meeting together as church? I believe that there are four essential purposes and we will discuss this in subsequent posts:
- Experiencing the presence of God.
- Equipping for ministry.
- Receiving ministry.
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