Contemporary: A group of people meet together at a specified time and at a specified place. The people barely know one another, perhaps they do not even know the name of the person sitting next to them. They sing songs chosen by a particular person. They listen to a sermon delivered by another person. These same people pick the songs and preach/teach during every meeting. When the people disperse, they plan to meet back at the same time and place next week. Besides the meeting, the people have very little in common with one another. They share a meeting.
New Testament: A group of people meet together at a specified time and at a specified place. During the previous week, they have spent time with one another. They know one another intimately. They have shared meals in one another’s homes. During the meeting, various people suggest songs for the group to sing. Other people offer words of encouragement and admonition to the entire group. Others teach the group from the Scriptures. Those who participate during this meeting may be some of the same people who participated in previous meetings, but they may also be different people. Everyone recognizes that the Spirit equips each person to minister to one another during the meeting. Everyone is responsible and necessary for the meeting. When the people disperse, they plan to meet again next week, but they also make plans to meet in one another’s homes during the week. They share a meeting, but they also share their lives.
Why is today’s method of meeting normal? Which is more like the meeting of your church?