November 7, 2008
A little thought about church programs - don't see much about them in the New Testament - just regular daily gathering, helping each other, teaching - sending out missionaries, gathering money gifts to help suffering churches, small missionary teams, everybody spreading the gospel where they went. Don't hear much of activities (except lots of sharing, things in common, eating and meeting together daily).
There is Dorcas - but that was her ministry - though it sure blessed lots of others.
I like that when God calls people to do things with Him, they can invite others to join them - if God is calling them also ... but they should not make people feel "forced" or "obliged" to join up with a bunch of programs - especially programs that are started because that's what all the other churches are doing - or because that's what one particularly "successful" church is doing - or even because some very strong-minded person in your church wants to do it...
Apollos' "Bible School" was Aquila and Priscilla teaching him in their home. Timothy's was at the feet of his mother and grandmother as a child - and then traveling and living with Paul (and others) on his missionary journeys - and then taking some "leadership" in churches (groups of Christians in each city gathering together) under Paul's mentoring.
Of course it isn't so "easy" to have "programs" when you don't have "buildings"!
Oh well... just thinking... again.
And thinking about "denominations" and "ministries"- in the early church there were lots of connections between churches - praying for each other, supporting financially, church "planting," letters, visits - the gathering of the people - and support of practical needs - but support of big programs or "ministries"?
Some preachers/ missionaries/ apostles accepted "pay" - others not, but were "tentmakers" etc.
"The brethren" supported other believers as needs arose.
How "close to the Biblical example" are we to stick? Are we really in a different time, place, culture? How much difference should that make? Where do principle and procedures begin and end? (Oh dear... principles should never end (Godly ones, that is!), but procedures....?)
Thank You for this excellent time with You!