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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Biblical order for church fellowship – is it possible?

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Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1174
Germany NRW

 Biblical order for church fellowship – is it possible?

How should we conduct our services? How should a church service look like?

Most fellowships have the typical sandwich type of liturgy which goes like this:

Greetings, announcements, a couple of songs accompanied by a band, kids go to Sunday school, 30-45 minutes of teaching, prayer, another song, crowd dismissed, all crammed into 1 to 1 ½ hours.
This is probably the model the reformers adapted from the catholic church and made some amendments. It is still more of an old testament priesthood pattern rather than a New Testament pattern with a priesthood of believers. It is a typical performance type with few actors and a passive observing audience that at large does not participate but consumes.

When I study the bible, especially Acts and 1 Corinthians, I see a rather different picture:
Meals shared together followed by the Lord’s supper.
Meeting in homes and other venues as they became available.
Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, educated and uneducated meet together
Teaching from teachers and within the fellowship
Ministry of prophets or prophetic teachers as per Acts 13:1
Itinerant apostles or apostolic teams ministering in the churches
Not just listening to a teaching but teaching and admonishing one another. Some would talk a bit longer and expound thoroughly whether other would contribute with shorter snippets of biblical truth prompted by the spirit.
Teaching would often not be premediated or read from a script but drawn from a deep well of accumulated bible knowledge impromptu as the Spirit leads. False teaching would be refuted, sin exposed, Christ preached as crucified.
Not just singing songs but singing to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs accompanied by mucisal instruments or a cappella. No pompous bands, no light show, no stage, just enough to help the singing.
Prophetic utterances and speaking in tongues followed by interpretation by 2 or 3 and response and evaluation by the fellowship.
Unbelivers would on a regular basis be convicted and repent and believe because the secrets of their hearts would be laid bare.
Contributions of psalms, songs, testimonies by anyone from the fellowship, including women, probably even children.
Children would be participating during the whole meeting and they would minster and being ministered, too.
Women would dress moderately and cover their heads. They would not teach or lead, but they would ask their husbands at home – who could give the answer.
Church discipline would be exercised in a measured, precise and wise manner by a team of elders. In severe cases persons would be handed over to Satan for the destruction of their body but to the rescue of their soul.
Most of all, the meeting was lead by the Spirit with mature Elders watching over the fellowship and its process, but they do not micro-manage or follow a set programme. The Holy Spirit IS the programme. They would in fact intervene when things get out of order.
There would be neither a sterile and rigid order neither a chaos, but a service full of life and surprises. People would forget the time and stay way into the afternoon.
Persecution, hardship and harassment from outside would keep the fellowship of their knees. Leaders and apostles would be in and out of prison. Outsiders would mock them but secretly hold a deep respect for them.
Healings, signs and wonders would occur often, but seen as a by-product and not the main thing.
There would be ties and exchange of ministry and relief with other fellowship around in the area and beyond.
They would minister to the poor, sick, and marginalized, supported by generous giving. Missionary would be sent on their way. Widows and orphans would be looked after.
The older would man would teach the younger. Leaders would be home-grown. They would not qualify by finishing a bible school or seminary but by showing both Christlike character, humility and diligent study of scripture. They would be tested in smaller assignments beforehand.
Older women would teach the younger ones practical, down to earth domestic skills. Women would be mostly house-keepers and have many children.

Everyone would go home uplifted and looking forward for the next meeting. Needless to say that growth will take place.

I am just dreaming or am I prophesying what the remnant church, the ready-made bride will look like before Christ returns?

I long to see that day before I die. Christ planted the church on earth. I cannot believe he would fail with mankind and reap a meagre, sick, weed-overgrown harvest. Impossible!
As we approach the day, should we not pray that the church will be ready and that he will have a bride fit for the master? I believe many will fall away and join Babylon, but there will be a smaller remnant shining bright and smelling sweet and actually resemble what I described and gleaned from scripture.

 2021/3/17 16:47Profile

Joined: 2016/3/9
Posts: 251

 Re: Biblical order for church fellowship – is it possible?

This is a beautiful picture of the church as scripture reveals it!

I only add the focus of every meeting would be on Christ alone, the real Head of His body. He would take preeminence in every meeting.


 2021/3/17 17:00Profile

Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1902

 Re: Biblical order for church fellowship – is it possible?

I believe the Church I am part of has a very good biblical pattern. There are no passive listeners until they choose to be. Everyone gets an opportunity to share their testimony, confess their faith etc. We do share meals after every meeting. We fellowship for a long time until evening. We do not passing offering box nor preach on tithing or ask for one. No one gets paid to serve in the Church.

Having said this, the format or pattern of our meeting does not matter. It is the presence of Christ that is important. When God himself choose not do define a perfect Church pattern in the Bible, we should not interfere in it. Pattern does not guarantee the presence of God. Jesus can be at the center of a Church with a Catholic like pattern but may be absent for a Church with Biblical pattern!

Many who have visited our Church have called us cults because of the Biblical pattern we have. Once even a brother was offended because we have meals after the meeting. According to him, Church should not be a place to eat. I told him that we serve meals so that people can stay longer and fellowship with one another! We do not do anything just because in Acts someone followed it. Our pattern is derived based on Epistles.


 2021/3/17 17:44Profile

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