Body Ministry (last update to this study was made on 04/29/2003)
Many have made their views known to HOW we ought to function when we come together as a body of believers. Many years ago, I had come to the conclusion that it is not HOW we meet but rather it is what we are that determines how we flow as a body of believers.
There have been debates of whether we are to meet or not, and if we do, should it be in a house or building while using the book of Acts and "house-churches" as the main source to support the "house" side of the argument. However, did you know that you can have the wrong order in a house and right order in a building? Granted, buildings do influence the order of a meeting and often there is a preacher, song leader or someone to take control and it is therefore easy for the rest of the body to be cut off from functioning freely by the Spirit. However, regardless of the physical surroundings, the key is there must be the leadership of the Spirit in a meeting.
We are to be dedicated to the principle of moving in Spirit and liberty and not to be focused on establishing another religious structure. This includes not exalting a one man ministry and the like. Often we see one man ministries assigning another to teach on this night or that morning, but if we think about it, this is still one person in control of the body and calling the format of the meeting. We do not condemn those in this order for it is difficult to make such a change or adjustment yet we do believe there is a better way. For sake of a better term, I would like to refer to this better way as a kingdom-now order or assembly. I have experienced such meetings and know that they can work. This is not to take away from any ministry that one may be called to nor and is it to suggest that the "gift ministries" are never to function. On the contrary, in fact, this allows for such ministries and the body to operate and flow more freely and at its full potential. It is worth mentioning that such an order can not be forced and it must come automatically over time.
In closing, I am sure we would do well to remember that it is not HOW we meet but rather WHO we meet and when we meet.