Christendom is filled with articles and books on finding the right structure for Church. Service lengths, days, and styles are debated endlessly. Conversations center on should Church meet in homes, free style, have a building, etc.
I have studied Church structure for decades. I have read hundreds of books and articles on the subject. In my own experience I have been a part of no church, home church, small group based churches, and traditional church. In doing all that studying this is the conclusion I come too:
The Bible does not state a right form of Church.
If anyone tells you otherwise they are telling you their preference and experience. There are really only 2 verses in the Bible talking about Church structure.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Acts 2:46-47a
Notice here in this verse that the Christians in Jerusalem met in a large gathering in the temple courts and in small gatherings in each other’s homes. But also notice this is not a command of how to do Church but a commentary on what they were doing. We know the Gentile churches did not meet in the temple courts because they were not Jews. Did they meet in a public place? Probably, but who knows.
Here is the second verse:
They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
This verse describes values they lived by not an exact structure they lived it out in. Those values were being submitted to teaching, fellowship, and prayer.
What’s my point? Let’s stop debating the right form of Church. There is not one. It’s a side issue and it is distracting from the main thing. We are often looking for the form that will bring God’s presence and favor. There is not one. What brings His favor is the values we live out. Those values are being taught (and of course living it), fellowship, and prayer. This brings growth not the right structure. Let’s look at the last part of the first verse above.
And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:47b
True growth comes not from the right program, person, or structure but being around a people who live Jesus’ values.
Enjoy your form of Church. Realize it is your preference of how to worship God and fellowship with others. It is not better or worse than other’s preferences. God will bless you if you are following His values. It is true that some types of structures aid our living out these values. But these structures are not the goal but changed lives of people.
So let’s stop looking for the perfect form. Let’s look to perfect men.
Well stated. I guess if the form or structure does not help you focus on a Jesus focused life, the form is pointless.