A Smaller Church

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Earth Wind and Fire, Feb 24, 2013.

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  1. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    It is my sincere hope that the Christian Church becomes much smaller in the next few years & happy to be so. I take seriously Jesus' teaching about "two or three gathered in his name" How else will we regain our integrity & effectiveness as proclaimers of Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior.

    Your thoughts are appreciated.
     
  2. annsni

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    I prefer medium sized churches. Our home church is about 500-600 people and it can offer way more than we could if we were an independent campus. But because they have a larger number of attendees, they can offer things like support groups for those in recovery, a deaf church, a ministry to the disabled, a ministry to foreign students in the community, etc. They were able to start two church campuses elsewhere on the Island and they have been able to start a crisis pregnancy center that now helps hundreds of women a year. :)

    Too big and you forget what you're about. Too small and you just don't have the resources to do much. In between is just about right!
     
  3. DHK

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    I abhor those (not you) that use this verse as a definition of a local church. It isn't. It is in the context of church discipline. It is as if it is saying: In a small church when a business meeting has gathered, and you have a quorum (whatever that may be) and two or three are gathered in the name of Christ (that would be men), the decision that they have agreed upon to excommunicate a wayward brother (whether yes or no), Christ is with you.

    It is not the definition of a local church. A local church is organized and has purpose. One of the purposes is discipline as Jesus demonstrated in this passage.
     
  4. Earth Wind and Fire

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    So your saying you cant have a business meeting if you dont have enough people...that is what makes local church?

    What does make up a local church?
     
  5. DHK

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    2 or 3 people gathering in a home for a cup of coffee doesn't make a church. It is an excuse not to go to church where the Word of God is properly expounded. Remember, the Lord is with us wherever we are, individually or within a group of two or three, to two or three hundred or thousand. Thus that wasn't the meaning of the verse.

    A church is an assembly of baptized (immersed) regenerated believers who have voluntarily associated themselves together for the purposes of carrying out the two ordinances of Christ (baptism and the Lord's Supper), and of obeying the Great Commission.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    If they exist
     
  7. ktn4eg

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    How would you categorize the church at Jerusalem in the Book of Acts? It wasn't very small after Pentecost, was it?
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

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    What does that have to do with anything?
     
  9. Thomas Helwys

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    I agree completely.
     
  10. ktn4eg

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    The OP had to do with the size of the membership of a local church. The Jerusalem church seems to have been a rather large church--probably a "mega-church" by modern-day standards.

    If the OP's plea for smaller churches as being more effective, more "personal," etc., I'm simply wondering how one would rate the Jerusalem church.
     
  11. Thomas Helwys

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    And why can 2 or 3 believers gathering for worship in a home not meet that definition? The first churches were house churches.
     
  12. annsni

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    Because a church is not 2 or 3 believers gathering for worship.

    Tell me the characteristics of churches in the Bible - even the home churches. Was there organization? Was there leadership? What was the purpose of their gathering? Was it only to sing a few songs? Study some of the New Testament from Acts on and you'll see that 2 or 3 gathered for worship was not anywhere near a New Testament church.
     
  13. DHK

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    Our church started in a house also. That is not the point. The verse is not a definition of a church, and when applied as such it is taken out of context and perverted.
    A casual meeting of believers is not a church.
    A church has purpose. In many respects it is like a business; in fact the government recognizes it as such. It elects its own pastor. It eventually may have deacons. It is organized enough to have a treasurer and secretary and will keep minutes of business meetings. It is organized.
    It is not just a casual meeting of two or three over some coffee and Bible reading or discussion. Read and study the Pastoral Epistles, and you will find that there is much more to a church than that.

    The church at Jerusalem grew to well over a hundred thousand.
    So did the church at Antioch from which Paul and Barnabas were sent out as missionaries.
    Other churches, such as the one at Aquilla and Priscilla's house were small.
    There are a number of churches mentioned in Romans 16 that met in houses. In Acts 12 the church met in the house of the mother of John Mark.
     
  14. Iconoclast

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    :thumbs::applause::thumbs:

    God gave instuctions in the OT how the Ot assembly was to function and be built, Ex25.....he has in the Nt as well 1tim 3 titus2
     
    #14 Iconoclast, Feb 24, 2013
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  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Well there are no churches near me but apostate ones so.....:smilewinkgrin:
     
  16. Earth Wind and Fire

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    1st who said that worship in a home is casual.....it's worship & if church is like a business then tax it like its a business. Lastly, who said a small meeting cant be an organized meeting? Next you will be telling me it HAS TO BE an IFB Church & everyone HAS TO wear a suit or a dress!
     
  17. Jedi Knight

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    With all due respect DHK I think you fail to realize this is not limited to just kicking people out of the church. When verse 20 says "2 or 3 gathered in my name" He is saying I will be in the midst of them as they seek his will "also see 1 John 5:14". Jesus often reiterated principals from the OT. Example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came together in agreement that they would not worship. And when they were thrown into the fire who was with them? :type: Wasn't church discipline but they were in Gods will and the Lord showed up. Another NT teaching that echos from the OT would be Jesus said "low I am with you always even to the end of the age", just like the passagaes in the OT? Hummmm Hebrews 13:5 I will never leave you nor forsake you?
     
    #17 Jedi Knight, Feb 24, 2013
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  18. DHK

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    And the context is:

    Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
    18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
    19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
    20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
    21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

    The context is in church discipline.
    There are other verses that teach that Christ is with us always. But the context of this Scripture is church discipline. It is not the definition of a church and shouldn't be used as one.

    Certainly applications can be made, as the Lord is with us, but the verse in itself is not a definition of a church. Anyone who exegetes this passage properly can see that.

    The local church is God's ordained institution of this dispensation. I promised God and my family many years ago that we would never live in a town or place where there was no good local church to attend. And if by chance that ever happened, I would start one.
    God's blessing is on the local church today, not coffee house meetings, or other social gatherings that excuse themselves from the authority of the local church on the basis of Mat.18:20.
     
  19. Jedi Knight

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    I believe context is King BUT you are saying that this principal is limited to this one contexts interpretation"discipline".
     
    #19 Jedi Knight, Feb 24, 2013
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  20. Jedi Knight

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    I wasn't talking about a church definition.
     
    #20 Jedi Knight, Feb 24, 2013
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