How We Gather

Neil Girrard

Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

The “church,” especially the mega-“church,” loves to misquote this in support of their large meetings – they almost always quote Jesus as saying “…two or more…” But that is not what He said.

Others like to dismiss this as applying only to what they call “church discipline” because that is its “context.” But Jesus is talking about two or three people being in agreement, agreeing on the facts, on the truth and on applying it to the situation at hand.

What can we glean from this? In short, we can answer the question: “How are we to gather?” In twos and threes. That is where Jesus promised that He would be in the midst.

Does this exclude larger meetings? By no means. But what it means is that any larger meetings we participate in must be geared toward equipping the saints so that they can conduct themselves appropriately in their encounters with one or two other believers or else that large scale meeting is misguided at best and a divisive sect at worst.

For too long the “church” has held its overly large congregations hostage under the bottleneck of the pulpit, scratching and soothing ears with fables and stories that expand one’s knowledge, strokes one’s ego and, because of the passivity of the modern listening/learning mode, leave the listener vulnerable to the attacks of the demonic. The large scale meetings have nothing to do with equipping the saints for experiencing Christ in any small scale meetings like two or three – such a thing is especially scorned at the mega-“church” – because the “mixed multitude” large-scale assembly is presupposed as the way to conduct “church” meetings.

Until the “pastor” steps down from the place of Christ that he has stepped into, the people will continue to be spiritually immature, weak, sick and dying. Until the man up front stops taking center stage and allows Jesus to personally work through each and every member in groups of two or three, Jesus will simply sit back and allow those people to go their own way and do what is right in their own eyes – no matter how heart breaking that is for Him as He makes every opportunity for these people to avoid being told on judgment day, “Depart from Me – I never knew you.”

Groups of two and three believers are the grains of salt thrown out into the world to retard the corruption. Two or three believers who act in obedience to the leading of Christ will accomplish much more than any large scale meeting with the best preacher could ever accomplish. Jesus Himself will present Himself to each individual in that small circle of two or three and each person present will be changed forever.

The “church” will undoubtedly continue to conduct its large scale error, heresy and apostasy but those who truly seek only the Master will hear these words and know the truth: “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Let he who has ears hear

Matthew 18:20
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