Assuming that you gather with your church family on Sundays, what are you planning to bring? The above verse from I Corinthians indicates that the folks in that church (despite its myriad problems) actively brought something with them to the church gathering. In many cases, this seems to have been directly related to the exercise of their spiritual gifts. Paul wanted to be sure that this was all done for the purpose of mutual edification.
Eric’s post is good. You should read it. In response, this was my comment:
I was not “scheduled” to teach/preach yesterday. However, I knew that another brother would be teaching on the subject of the Sabbath. I also knew that the church would have an opportunity to take part in the teaching, through asking questions, sharing experiences, or even offering a teaching of their own. So, I prepared for studying the passages in Scripture related to the Sabbath. I also talked with other brothers and sisters about the topic – both my own family and others in person as well as online.
However, besides this preparation, I also spend time with other brothers and sisters throughout the week. I know what’s going on in their lives and they know what’s going on in my life. Specifically through a conversation I had last week, I knew I need to confess something to the church, to ask for prayer in that area, and to exhort the church (as well as myself) toward faithfulness in that area.
So, my preparation included both the study of Scripture and the work that God was doing in my life and the lives of others through our interaction with one another. I’m sure there were others ways that I (and others) prepared, but these are two ways that I try to prepare every day.
As the church, we meet with one another weekly, but we also meet more regularly, sometimes daily. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we should always be prepared (yes, even on Sundays) to encourage one another toward maturity in Christ.
So… to echo Eric’s question… the next time you meet with brothers and sisters in Christ, what are you bringing? Will you be prepared?