the weblog of Alan Knox

The church meets here…

Posted by on Jul 18, 2008 in community, fellowship, gathering, service | 5 comments

I recently had a coversation with a brother that was very thought-provoking. Many churches have “Wednesday night services”. What would happen if those churches actually served their communities on Wednesday nights? Our conversation reminded me of a blog post that I wrote just over a year ago called “The church meets here“. I’m copying it here to remind myself and my readers of what the church meeting could look like, if it actually involved service and wasn’t just called a “service”.


I live six miles from my work place. As I drive to work, I pass at least seven church buildings. Each building has a sign out front announcing the name of the church that meets in the building. (To be literal, the signs actually name the building, but I’m assuming that the people who erected the signs actually meant to name the group of believers that meet in the buildings.) On Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings, temporary signs pop up around the downtown area announcing several other churches that meet in downtown businesses. Each of these signs is intended to announce the meeting place for a church.

I’ve been wondering lately what would happen if we started finding signs saying “The church meets here” in more diverse locations. For example, we know from the New Testament that many times the church met in homes. What would happen if someone put a sign in their front yard that said, “The church meets here”? Or, even better, Acts 2 says the church met from house to house. What if that sign followed the believers from one house to another as they met together in different locations?

Taking it one step further, we know that God intends for his children to love and serve others. What if the church met in the most dilapidated house in the community? No, not the most dilapidated house owned by a member of the church, but the most dilapidated house in the community. What would happen if the church met in that run-down house and renovated it as they met together? After remodelling that house, the church could begin meeting in another house in need of repairs.

Some of you may be thinking, how would anyone know where the church was meeting? Isn’t it interesting that the church in the first century was able to meet from house to house, but, in the the twenty-first century – with twenty-first century communication – we don’t think we could meet in different locations. (I have a theory… I wonder if the desire to have one meeting location has less to do with whether or not other believers know where the church is meeting. Instead, we want others to know where the church is meeting so that they will come to the meeting, and we can call ourselves evangelistic, without ever communicating the gospel to anyone. It’s just a theory.)

Similarly, some may be wondering how the church can meet without a stage, sound system, microphone, instruments, pulpit, etc. Well, I think it might just work anyway. While it is good to use modern innovations (such as communication), it is not good to be dependent on those innovations. Which of these are necessary for the church to meet?

Also, some may wonder about teaching and preaching. I think that if the church meets together in a run-down house, and over the course of several weeks the church renovates that house, there will be plenty of teaching and preaching. In fact, I think there will be plenty of friends and neighbors who come to see who these fools are who would give up their time and money to help someone that cannot pay them back. Oh, it might not happen after the first or second meeting. But, what about going into the second year, after the church has renovated fifteen or twenty homes around the community. I wonder if the church wouldn’t find a much more receptive and interested audience for their preaching and teaching.

But, let’s not stop at dilapidated houses. What if the church met in prisons or hospitals? What if the church met in an area frequented by the homeless or prostitutes? What if the church met in a nursing home or retirement center? What if the church met in an orphanage? Now, I’m not talking about going to visit once per year. I’m talking about the church continually meeting in these locations. Wouldn’t it be easier to take care of those whom God wants the church to care for?

I wonder, if the church began to meet in places like this, would a sign even be necessary? Can you think of other interesting locations where the church could meet and serve people at the same time?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 7-18-2008


    as mentioned, i do not copy/paste posts, but this is one that i will do and link to you


  2. 7-18-2008


    Thank you for including my post on your blog!


  3. 7-18-2008


    you are welcome. After, I posted that, i was out doing a Meals on Wheels route and your posts came to me for numerous reasons but two stood out.

    first Nouwen’s enocourage people to become the following:

    - who know and are known
    - who care and are care for
    - who forgive and are being forgiven
    - who love and are being loved

    it just struck a cord and an awe factor.

    The next thing as I was doing the route (we do it every friday) was .. how cool would it be if a “small goup” would take a route. 5 families who meet together regularly do the same route. Each family (5) take a day. That group together could be such a blessing for the route.

    * back to ministry dreaming *

  4. 7-18-2008


    Thanks for the idea. We’re doing something similar. I’m planning to share that idea, and an idea about something some friends of ours are doing in a blog post that I’m working on now. I’ll probably publish that post sometime in the middle of next week.

    The important question – one that I keep asking myself – is this: What am I going to do about it?


  5. 7-20-2008

    Shouldn’t the “ministry of the Word”, “sacrements”, and “worship” be essential when we meet? What about those brother? :o)