Tag Archives: church

Who get’s to play?

Question: Who get’s to play?

Video Summary.

The word church

Did you know that the word church is not in the original Bible. The greek work is  ecclesia (assembly)

If you want to know the true meaning of a word see how it’s been used throughout the Bible.

The problem with words is that they mean different things to different people. For some church is the building. Other’s its a particular meeting on a Sunday.

The word means to gather: political meetings. A coming together of believers.

Acts 19:32

“Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly (church or ecclesia) was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.”

What do you do at church? What did they do in Acts and the Epsitles?

Come together!

1 Corinthians 14: Whenever you come together –   each of you. Not a few. ALL.

1 Corinthians 14:26 “How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.”

This is very much the American Supper idea in the previous post. Everyone get’s to play not a select and anointed few.

The common objection to this is that result is chaos? Paul gives guidelines: Prophecy someone else wants to say something –  shut up!  In mots churches today the only one who gets to speak is the pastor!

Just because everyone is involved doesn’t mean that everything has to be spontaneous. There is room for preparation. It’s unlikely that every one will bring potatoes.  

What we missing out? Missing out on variety!

Often today its all about the teaching gift.

Romans 12:6

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecylet us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministrylet us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that givethlet him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

1 Corinthians 12:10 

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

Allot more variety than we experience!

How would God assemble the church?  – assemble a bit of furniture.

Is seeker friendly church God’s plan?

Church is not a place where you bring people to evangelise. We should be equipped to go to people.

Evangelism isn’t a gift.  An evangelist is a person.

Pastoring isn’t a gift. A pastor is a person.

Stuck on the ground

If the church was an airfield most of the planes are either stuck in the hangars or on the ground.

 

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The priesthood of all believers

Why do we meet together?

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What or who is the church?

Question: What is the church?

Ephesians 2:19

Now, therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. In whom the whole building grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In whom you are also being built together for a dwelling place of God in the spirit

1 Peter 2:4

Coming to him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

 

Summary?

Its not the building?

The church is not the building. Its not the physical bricks an mortar. Believers are ‘living’ stones. Its the people of God. The household or family of God.

As a side note: there were no church building projects in the early church!

We need a ‘habitation’ mentality not a visitation one. In other words, God doesn’t visit is when we meet and then leave. He permanently indwells us individually and collectively by his Holy Spirit.

Therefore, a believer who is imprisoned for their faith in solitary confinement is just as much part of the church as any believer even though they suffer.

Definition?

Church or ‘ecclesia’ is defined as: “citizens called out from their homes to a public place”.

In the early church they didn’t define themselves as being part of a church organisation or churchdenomination. Their identity wasn’t based on a name. They were addressed, for practical reasons, only as the christians meeting at Ephesus or at a persons home.

Therefore, the Roman Catholic Church is not the church.  The Pentecostal church of the Spirit of Prophecy is not the church either. What we do is not our identity! That doesn’t make us church. No, its who we are in the spirit as members of the body of Christ. That is the only membership me need!

Yes, we meet, pray, worship and drink coffee in Costa but that is an outflow of who we are!

The church being a body is good analogy. Every cell in my body has my DNA. Each individual in the body of Christ has the DNA of Christ Jesus.

Therefore, the church isn’t what we do; its who we are as children of God! A family eats together, holidays and does all the things families do. Those things however don’t make us a family!

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Why do we meet together?

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Why do Christians meet together?

meetWhy do christians meet together?

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?”

Whose name?

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:

  1. Relationship/friendship/family.
  2. Experiencing the presence of God.
  3. Equipping for ministry.
  4. Receiving ministry.

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A purpose focused Church?

As a driver trainer, every lesson I teach has a clear purpose. At least one goal. Never do we drive around aimlessly hoping we are going to learn something on the way. Of course you probably will learn something, just by accident,  but that is not a good lesson.

Bored?

churchWhat if we had the same attitude when we gathered together as church? That’s what it means to gather in his name. Just meeting together doesn’t make a church. Let’s be honest but frankly often I’m bored with church meetings. Yes, I’ve been in some great meetings but the average meeting is dull. The strange thing is, I’m not bored with Jesus!

Do you feel like that? Often I  go to church because I  know it’s the right thing to do – I am loyal. Now that has some merit but is the end result my inevitable passivity? Are you, what researchers beginning to label, a ‘done’. These are the christians who have done church (often leaders and fervent believers) and are either on the verge of, or who have left, the established churches. Something is not right!

Yeh! Let’s go to church

church

Ask yourself, be honest. Do you really wake up on a Sunday morning thinking yeh let’s go to church? Now, if you are a leader, then maybe you do but don’t deceive yourself. Is your satisfaction because you have purpose and a role to play? Indeed, you may enjoy preaching but does your audience enjoy listening! That’s why leadership is a serving or coaching role. If someone isn’t being served you aren’t leading! Likewise, as a driver trainer it’s not about me it’s about the pupil, the client.

Have you learnt anything?

So, after your next church meeting, ask yourself the question have I learnt anything? Have I changed? Have I  experienced something new? If not, then ask yourself why not and then think about how you can help bring those changes for the sake of others.

A few more thoughts

A purpose focused church gathers to:

1. ALL worship the Lord Jesus and experience the reality of His presence.
2. ALL learn how to minister to others needs in the power of the Holy Spirit.
3. ALL pray, prophecy, intercede and send or be sent on Gospel missions.
4. ALL learn about the doctrines of the Gospel and how to apply it in real life.

What if?

We gathered as church to do one thing well?
Idea1:  we met just to worship and celebrate communion in a fresh way
Idea2:  we met just to pray for a couple of hours together.
Idea3 : we met just to prophesy and encourage one another for a couple of hours.
Idea4:   …………………….?

As someone said recently: “The issue is not the venue of our meetings but the values in our hearts.  When structure serves the appropriate values then it’s legitimised.”

A driving analogy
Tithing?

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