“Well, our family does everything a church does on Sundays.”
Slide 10 of 10
Is dad a pastor? Has he been recognized and affirmed as such by a currently-qualified and recognized body of local church leadership (1 Tim. 4:14Open in Logos Bible Software (if available))? How is your family church disciplining people? And is there not a New Testament local body with whom you could gather?
Bottom line: I cannot consider my arbitrary group of people gathered on a Sunday a church if it does not include a regenerate body of individuals committed to one another, biblically qualified and affirmed leaders, preaching of the word, administering the ordinances, and conducting biblical church discipline as necessary. Therefore, I could not consider such a group as doing church.
More could be said on what church is and is not. But Christians should scrap attempts to justify church-away-from-church as church. We don’t approach other areas of life like that. We are not God, and so have no authority to redefine ins and outs of his church. Truths about church and worship are not arbitrarily defined, but mean something specific in the New Testament. Gathering with the body under the shepherding of biblically qualified leaders demonstrates the privilege we have of belonging to something larger than us; the greatest organization in the universe.
We ought to consider it a privilege and joy to gather weekly with God’s people. The body needs us and we need the body. We need what God desires to give us through qualified, affirmed leadership. We need to see and be seen. If we are missing church with the family, and attempting to supplement it, just say, “We are going to study the Bible, sing some songs, and pray as a family. This isn’t church, kids.”
Originally published on The Cripplegate. Used with permission.
Eric Davis is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Jackson Hole, WY. He and his team planted the church in 2008. He has been married for 15 years and has 3 children.
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