How Should We Do Church?
As Tan Yee Kiat reflects on the "What is a Healthy Church?" conference, he invites us to examine what the Bible says about how we should do church.
I am a bit late with this. I have been asked to share what I have learnt at the “What is the Healthy Church?” conference.
I think instead of me sharing what I have learnt, perhaps it would be better for me to invite all of us to reflect on this and help us form some convictions: “Does the Bible have much to say about how we do church?”
I have met groups with different convictions on this matter. Some think that the Bible is silent on a lot of things and thus we have liberty in a lot of matters. In other words, your church’s practices are not in any way 'more right' vis-à-vis others'.
However, if the reverse is true on the other end of the scale, then it is deserving of our attention to “examine the Scriptures to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
A good place to start is perhaps these verses:
“I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.” (1 Tim 3:14 – 15)
Do you see what is written there? Paul wrote these words so that Timothy might know “how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God”.
And what did Paul write to Timothy? Preceding this, Paul had just explained to Timothy the traits that should be possessed by elders and deacons. Paul was telling Timothy the church should have these two offices, and Timothy should look for those who have these traits so that they may hold these offices.
It turns out how “we behave in the household of God” mattered to Paul, and matters to God. This should be a part of our conviction. And we should believe that the Bible has sufficiently revealed to us how we should do church.
I hope this little post would inspire you to 'dig deep' into this matter. We are free to ask God to teach us how we should do church.
He has written these things for us.