the weblog of Alan Knox

Why are you here?

Posted by on Jan 20, 2009 in discipleship, gathering | 13 comments

Last Sunday morning, as we were meeting together with the church, I asked people this question: “Why are you here?”

I did not ask this in the metaphysical sense of, “Why do you exist?”

What I mean is, “Why are you meeting with this group of people in this place at this time? What is your reason for being part of this church meeting?”

So, I’ll ask my readers the same question: “What was your purpose in meeting together with the church the last time you met with them?”


13 Comments

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  1. 1-20-2009

    Alan,

    To try to love them, by getting to know them better in order to serve them. I wanted to really know how they were doing and what I could do to stimulate then along the journey. It was cut short due to the “service” but hey hopefully they know they can come to us for help (as busy as we are with 2 kids 2 and under).

    I also wanted to celebrate the Lords death burial and ressurection with them.

  2. 1-20-2009

    I think Hebrews 10:24-25 is a good summary for me. I like to be in worship with like minded people, to strengthen them and draw strength from them.

  3. 1-20-2009

    Lionel,

    What do you mean that it was cut short due to the “service”?

    Andy,

    How “like minded” do you think the group would need to be?

    -Alan

  4. 1-20-2009

    Both excellent comments, I NEED to be around Christians to feed off their Faith, and also because it humbles me–a humility I desparately need and beg Christ to instill in me so I can serve him. The whole point of the Kingdom of God is WE are in this together and that means worship together. It’s not so important to me that we be like minded, rather that we accept the Gospel and love one another.

  5. 1-20-2009

    Alan,

    Well typically everyone comes in about 5-10 minutes before the music starts, we talk and catch up (we don’t have any midweek things going on) then the music starts, then announcements then more music and then the sermon and then the communion and then the dismissal and everyone is heading home (sometimes we have refreshements or snacks).

  6. 1-20-2009

    Alan,

    We didn’t meet in the formal sense, and haven’t done so for five years.

    We usually meet on a weekly basis but irregularly, as to the day.

    We meet to discuss Scripture with each other, talk about what is going on in our lives, pray, share meals, at which there is remembrance and thanksgiving for the finished work of Jesus at Calvary.

    Those meeting may be two hours to six hours.

    When we part there is a strong sense of being encouraged, of empowerment to continue our walk, of blessing, fulfilment, and real joy.

    My youngest daughter, who is fourty,visited last weekend, and she and my wife travelled two and one half hours inland to visit other family.

    I wasn’t able to travel, yet our loving Father prompted a dear brother to travel two hours from the south to visit (he didn’t know I would be alone).

    We had a great time of discussing what the Scriptures teach about the gathering of God’s people to fellowship, to pray, to share the Lord’s Table and to learn from the Scriptures, especially the NT, and praying and eating together..

  7. 1-20-2009

    I meet with other Believers in order to actively be the Body. In our sharing what the LORD is saying, we function, we come alive, we become one man in Christ.

    We meet with one accord because great power and Kingdom activity takes place when their is only one Head, The Christ.

    I meet to edify others in their faith. I long to share what I find in the Word and to hear what others have discovered as well.

    I can literally see the reality of God’s plan for His Church when we gather in His name, with no agenda but to know Him and to be known by Him.

  8. 1-20-2009

    Mich,

    How do you usually express this (what you said in your comment) when you meet with the church?

    Lionel,

    Just to make sure I understand… are you saying that the “service” gets in the way of your purpose for being there among that group of people?

    Aussie John,

    I pray that one of these days it will be me and my family who are prompted to visit.

    Joel,

    I like the we’s and our’s in your comment… “our sharing”… “we function”… “we come alive”… “we become”. What does that look like when the church meets?

    -Alan

  9. 1-20-2009

    Alan,

    Many times yes. Sometimes no, but most times yes. We are usually there for the service, though I am learing how to manuever through it to minister to the people (one of the big ways is being able to teach particaptory) As a matter of fact maybe you can send me an email I have to teach on John 8 (the entire chapter) and was wondering if you could give me a little guidance on how to teach in a participative manner.

  10. 1-20-2009

    When we met in a cafe this past Sunday, another patron asked to join us at the end of the meeting. He wanted to make the point that we need to be “out there” getting in people’s faces about their belief in Darwinism, pointing out to them that believing in God is no more of a leap of faith than is believing in evolution. Per this gentleman, meeting together in the cafe was just to “edify yourselves”.

    I had to think about that last statement. Perhaps if meeting together is all we do, he might be correct. Something he said made me think he had been part of the IC at one time. Perhaps that is what he thought he saw in that setting.

    Yes, there is a sense in which we want to build ourselves up (edify) when we meet (studying the Scripture is part of this), but that is not most of what my group does.

    In addition, we encourage each other, report what we have seen God doing and discuss how we have been and are going to serve the community.

    All of this must be important to us – My wife and I left our friend and his mountain retreat late Saturday evening, instead of coming home Sunday afternoon, so we could meet with our group at the cafe Sunday morning. We did this because we wanted to.

  11. 1-20-2009

    We gather to mutually impart something of the Spirit of Christ. To see the uniqueness of Christ in one another and serve Him to one another. Last week we spent some time worshipping, praying and speaking to one another. Next week it could be different. Our focus is not the form but the substance – which is Christ.

  12. 1-20-2009

    Lionel,

    Thanks for the explanation. Email me and we can talk about John 8.

    Sam,

    You said, “In addition, we encourage each other, report what we have seen God doing and discuss how we have been and are going to serve the community.” I would include all of this and more under the term “edification”. I looks like you are all considering how to stir up one another toward love and good works. :)

    Douglas,

    Focus on the substance and not the form… Are there some forms that you have found that are conducive to the substance, or hinder the substance?

    -Alan

  13. 1-20-2009

    Great question – and difficult to answer. First, I believe there is organic form. But I see organic form as skeletal – necessary for the preservation of proper outward appearance and function, yet hidden deep within the organism.

    So then when the form becomes the outward appearance I believe it significantly hinders the expression of Christ in and through the saints. For instance, most protestant church services are the same, regardless of where the congregation lies on the conservative/charismatic continuum: 3 fast, 2 slow, offering (with special song), sermon and benediction.

    Now, can God somehow navigate His way into such a form – sure, He is after all God! But will such a rigid structure allow for the type of one-anothering necessary to achieve the full stature of Christ. No.

    I do believe and have observed the Spirit work His way through even the most constricting of forms, but it is the fulness we are seeking – not merely a portion.

    Second, I hear much today within the “emergent,” “missional,” and “convergent” movements about form – in the word “model.” Well meaning brothers and sisters speak of embracing a new model that will catapult the church into a new season. But here again is the emphasis on form as solution. But the “form” itself must be an inextricably bound to the organism. It must serve the organism, not be served by it.

    I believe true organic form is accomplished as the mature believers in any gathering hold to one heart and one mind, creating an organic orthosis around which the body can be fit together. You won’t necessarily see it, but you cannot mistake its presence. It is the tacit, yet profound foundation upon which the organism is built.

    Indeed, true organic form is Christ Himself in us corporately.

    Sorry to be so long winded.