the weblog of Alan Knox

How should we "do church"?

Posted by on Feb 7, 2009 in blog links, gathering | 7 comments

You must read Michael’s (from Love Broke Thru) new post called “In Search of the New Testament Worship Service Part 1“. Yes, you must. You do not have a choice.

Ok… ok… I am not ordering your to read his post. But, just read the intro, then decide for yourself:

We have a lot of freedom in how we “do church.” Scripture doesn’t give a lot of detail on the how-to part of doing church. If we choose to sing contemporary praise choruses, we are not sinning. If we choose to sing traditional hymns instead, we are not sinning or violating scripture in any way. If we choose to sing a combination of both, we are free to do so. We have the liberty to meet on Thursday night, Monday night, or Sunday morning. We have the freedom to meet in an elaborate building or in a modest home. If we choose to have a more traditional monologue sermon instead of free-flowing dialog, we have complete liberty and freedom to do so. We have the freedom to take the Lord’s Supper once a day, once a week, once a month, or once a quarter. These are all important issues that need to be worked out in our local assemblies. But in my opinion, we should first be preoccupied with a more important question that lies at the very heart of our purpose for gathering together. We should be asking ourselves, “What is the church and what is the purpose of our meeting together?” While scripture is silent on many of the “how to’s” of doing church, it is not silent on what the church is and the purpose of our meeting together. How we answer that question should drive how we choose to do church in our particular setting.

That last part is soooooo important! While Scripture does not give us specific details on how we do things when we meet together as the church, if we understand who we are as the church and the purpose of our meeting together, this will help us choose what to do and what NOT to do when we meet together.

So, now, go read the remainder of Michael’s post.


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  1. 2-7-2009

    I read that post this morning too (and forwarded it to my pastor!!). It was WONDERFUL!! Thanks for getting the word out.

  2. 2-7-2009


    Yes, it was a wonderful post. I’m looking forward to part 2.


  3. 2-7-2009

    I have just recently discovered Michael’s site and found it to be a treasure trove of insight. As well, he is a dear brother – with whom I had the great pleasure of spending some Skype time today.

  4. 2-8-2009


    This is really good stuff, thanks for linking to Michael’s blog.

    It is definitely amazing to me, how many pastors refer to the building as God’s House.

    In times past when I’ve taught Bible Studies or adult sunday school, I’ve mentioned that the building is just a building of brick and mortar. But, then proceeded to say to the people that they are God’s House and that the building is just a meeting place and told the people that they are the church.

    Christians, and pastors in particular have become annoyed with me. Many do not want to have their concept of what church is, messed with.

    It’s amazing how many have had scripture twisted in their minds.


  5. 2-8-2009

    Great post, and thank you for the link to Michael’s blog.

    Our little group is like off the map on this stuff, since we meet on the street, in cafes and parks. Like Gary, we have not seen quite what you and Michael describe.

    My wife and I want to start a meeting together in our home in the spring with two neighborhood couples who are believers and invite other neighbors. As non-traditional as you can get – meet over food and talk about whatever and see what develops. We’ve heard of one other example of a couple who “do church” this way.

    We do want to meet with other believers, but have a real passion for those who would never go close to anything resembling traditional “church”.

  6. 2-8-2009

    Thanks for the link, Alan. It was well worth the read.

    I have long held we should analyze the effectiveness of how we do church based on what does and does not support the maturing of the saints.

    Which begs the question of what is maturity?

    hmmmm…probably would have to sit around talking openly and honestly about how we love others and how we don’t to get at the root of our maturity levels. We need to talk to others receiving clear feedback to expose our self-delusions and self-deceptions, and to debunk our self images in general. You know, being specific about when we find ourselves irritated or judgmental toward others; how often we are able to experience complete peace under the deepest stresses of our jobs; how well we patiently interact with those who live under the same roof with us…stuff like that.

    Lest anyone think I mean turning church into a self-help group, I say not that. However, until church turns into real family life between believers, maturity will remain an illusive goal.

  7. 2-9-2009

    David (ded),

    “What is maturity?” That’s a good question. I’m going to give that some thought.