John wrote, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
What is missing from most meetings is two things: 1) real love and 2) real life. There just isn’t much place in a meeting format - home or “church” - for laying down our lives for one another. Some, but not much. The regularized meeting format, put quite simply, quickly and easily devolves into an artificial environment.
Real life is required to lay down our lives, that is, real needs must be met by our real sacrifices of time, service and/or resources. Not mere gifts from our excess, real sacrifices that cost us something. This is neither popular nor easy to incorporate into the meeting format. Thus “something” will always be missing from our meetings because meetings simply are not conducive to sharing our lives, only our words.
Consider also the business world. Even there, everyone knows that meetings are sometimes necessary and occasionally productive – but most often meetings are only a dull and tedious waste of time. The sons of this world are still wiser than the sons of the kingdom!
Until we lay down our lives at Jesus’ feet, there will always be the question of whether we are meeting by the will of men or truly being assembled together according to the will of the Holy Spirit. The body of Christ is joined and knit together by what every joint supplies. The meeting format lends itself most readily to those who have some form of a speaking gifting or skill and all but excludes those who have a serving/functional gifting that requires real needs within the context of a real life setting to be brought forth in the spiritual community. If we are merely meeting and not seeing every joint supply something to other body parts (a significant part of which will be non-speaking actions!), we are squelching, by the very meeting format, the work of God’s Spirit among us.
Meetings quite often are simply add-ons to our busy life, a time slot wherein we can squeeze in our religious fix and feel like we’ve done our weekly duty for God. Under this pattern, God is not the one who tells us when, or even if, we should attend – the calendar demands that we show up or else we feel guilty. How did we get this confused with an obedient relationship with our loving heavenly Father?
If Christ is not our all-consuming passion and, as best we are enabled, our absolute Lord and Master of where we go and all that we do, we are only partakers of a deception that, in the end, may be far more destructive than institutional “churchianity” – we will have home “churchianity.”
Let he who has ears hear.
I’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!