Participatory church gatherings are meetings where individual Church members come to minister to each other spiritually, to give as well as to receive. Regardless of whether we think this sounds like a recipe for how to ruin a church or interaction in an ideal Christian community, it is actually how the churches in the New Testament ran their meetings.
He also includes this quote from D. Martin Lloyd-Jones:
Are we giving the members of the church an adequate opportunity to exercise their gifts? Are our churches corresponding to the life of the New Testament church? Or is there too much concentration in the hands of ministers and clergy? You say, “We provide opportunity for the gifts of others in week-night activities.” But I still ask, Do we manifest the freedom of the New Testament church? . . . When one looks at the New Testament church and contrasts the church today, even our churches, with that church, one is appalled at the difference. In the New Testament church one sees vigour and activity; one sees a living community, conscious of its glory and of its responsibility, with the whole church, as it were, an evangelistic force. The notion of people belonging to the church in order to come to sit down and fold their arms and listen, with just two or three doing everything, is quite foreign to the New Testament, and it seems to me it is foreign to what has always been the characteristic of the church in times of revival and of reawakening. (Knowing the Times, pp 195-6).
I’m glad to see more and more believers encouraging this kind of church meeting. As Andrew points out, it is the model that we see in the NT. Also, I believe it is beneficial for the church – both individuals within the church and the church as a community.
So far, Andrew has exegeted passages from 1 Corinthians 14, specifically 1 Corinthians 14:26. I hope he decides to include the exegesis of even more passages of Scripture.