Saturday, 11 June 2016

Thoughts About Special-Purpose Meetings

Jesus said, "I will build my church..." - not just have continual 'revival' meetings.

And there are local churches, not only the one worldwide Church.

We are advised to gather together - and all the more as we see the Day approaching.

God placed pastors, rulers, governments, bishops, elders, presbyters, and deacons in the church - as well as every other functioning member of the body.

And the highest commandment is to love one another.

So revival-type meetings (or Holy Ghost believers-meetings, manifestations of the Spirit, visiting pulpit ministries, special-purpose meetings, or midweek meetings) are to find their place in people's overall church-life - they're not a substitute for the guts of what goes into a church.

And interest in such meetings can't really be sustained beyond the point where people no longer perceive them as necessary to enhance their overall church-life.

So revival meetings might be most effective if they're conducted in co-operation and relationship with churches and leaders - otherwise it could end-up becoming a bit like spirit without a body.

Or if conducted independently, the meetings might best be conducted with the understanding that the people attending the meetings should ultimately become involved in a church if they're not already. Or perhaps with the goal that a church could be established as a result of the meetings.

But what I'm saying is, revival-type meetings probably can't run too effectively for too long if they're run endlessly independent of church-life altogether. That would be like all cream and no cake. All phys-ed and no math/reading/writing. As I said, like spirit and no body.

(I've seen people open a revival venue, and hope to just run the revival meetings endlessly - but eventually it starts to fizzle - even if they called it a church.)

Even when a local church puts a special-purpose meeting into its own weekly program, interest in the meeting can't be sustained endlessly beyond the point where it's no longer perceived by the people as slotting-in satisfyingly with the people's other interests in church-life and life in general.

(For example a church might start a mid-weekly 'School of the Supernatural' meeting, or something similar, and plan to run it all year - but I often see interest starting to wane, once people's instinctive spiritual appetite starts making them feel that the content of the meeting isn't always required along with their overall spiritual diet and activities.)

Special-purpose meetings; manifestations of the Spirit among people; and the outpouring of the Spirit upon people, were never meant to take place independently of the people's regular relationships, fellowship, love for one another, their need for well-rounded teaching and growth, their own need to function in the body, nor independently of other offices which God has placed in the church such as local-church leaders - it's all meant to fit us to be a more effective part of God's plan for the church locally, worldwide and throughout history.

Therefore revival-type meetings (for want of a better term) - where, why, when, and how we have them -  might find their ultimate effectiveness when they are seen as a strategic part of the overall goal to build the church.

However, think about this: what we call revival, may very well be what should be normal for church-life.

For example, general outpourings of the Spirit upon a congregation can be repeated; manifestations of the Spirit should be regular and abundant in local church life.

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