“I Do Not Need to Be in a Congregation”

This statement is a representation of not only many young people today, but of even some older people who are in their senior years of disillusionment with congregational life as they experienced it. Yet, it is so very different than what would have been stated decades ago both by Jews and Christians. At that time the idea of being a part of a congregation was not based on a person’s perception of what he or she needed, but rather on what God required. God was understood as the great King who was to be feared. Yes, He is loving, but flouting his will was considered very dangerous. So the idea was common, that if one was to walk in the blessing and protection of God, we had better find out what his will is and conform our lives to that will. The question was not “what do I need?” but “what does the Lord require of me”?

One cannot fairly read the New Covenant Scriptures without seeing that God requires all who claim to be followers of Yeshua to be committed to a congregation where they are to be submitted to a qualified eldership as the shepherds and overseers of their lives (I Peter 5:1-5). We can begin with all the texts that speak of the responsibility of congregational members to their elders, from submitting to them (Hebrews 13:7, 17), being instructed by them (I Tim. 3, Titus 1) and exercising the gifts of the Spirit in a context of gatherings that assume their oversight and discernment (I Cor. 12, 14).

In addition, one should not determine their true needs without the revelation of God. It is like a car. We may think it is running fine. The idea that I have to take it to the shop for regular maintenance doesn’t seem to be needed. I pass the recommended standard and all seems to be running fine, until one day the engine freezes up and after being towed to the shop, I am told I “need” a new engine.

However, as God sees us, and in his definition of need, we truly need congregational life and eldership oversight. Here is why:

  1. God expects us to be in submission to an eldership to whom were are accountable so that we might be taught and grow into the likeness of the Messiah. I know of no one who professes faith who has ever gotten very far in this without congregational life. For in the ups and downs of life together in a congregation, in forgiving, submitting, and serving, we grow. We need congregational life to fulfill the Biblical demand to be conformed to Yeshua. We need congregation to grow in character.
  2. We need a congregation to grown in our exercise of the gifts of the Spirit.
  3. We need a congregation to bring regular corporate worship before God. This is both our responsibility as part of his corporate Temple and as part of intercessory responsibility as his priesthood.
  4. We need a congregation so we might be taught and mentored by those who have attained what we have not yet attained. This includes everything from marriage and family life, to personal devotion. Plus, the Bible says that God has given five kinds of gifted people, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip us for the work of ministry (Eph. 4:11ff). But they cannot equip us if we are not in congressional life and submitted to their gifting to equip us.
  5. We need a congregation to fulfill God’s command and to walk in the fear of God and to be assured of his blessing. If we are in known disobedience here, we cannot expect His blessing on our lives.
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By | 2017-01-20T05:06:43+00:00 January 19th, 2017|Tags: , , |2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. iainehskhemmawlong@gmail.com January 24, 2017 at 14:05

    Dear friend
    I agree with the 5 points highlighted by you about the need to be in a congregation but the world is flooded with many different congregation some teach false doctrine while others teach only half of the gospel still other practice idol worship, some accepted homosexuality , some have spirit filled leaders while other are led by carnal minded theologian, some baptize not according to the Bible and there are even some congegration who don’t accept the Goodhood of our only Saviour Jesus Christ they regard Him as one of the angel so ultimately they deny the new covenant of redemption through blood of Jesus Christ.
    I was born in a congregation where I don’t even hear the message of repentance even once they don’t teach the full Gospel and I don’t whether the pastors also they have the calling of God or not because whenever anyone want to become a pastor all he need ia to propose himself and if recommended he will have to complete graduation in theology and after passing theology also they are not yet born again ie, unborn again pastors but according to the Bible we need to be born again john3:5 so that we become new creation not under the condemnation of the law Rom8:1. By repenting from our sin and accepting Christ we are redeem back to God 1cor 6:20, col1:20 and we will experiance new life. The new creation will have new desire ie, the Holy Spirit will make us hungry for the righteousness of God and if we continue to obey the desire given by the Spirit and walk in the newness of life in christ there will be no condemnation but justification Rom8:1;3: 24. But if we disobey the Holy Spirit the fleshly desire will overcome us we will be under condemnation and will not be son of God. As many as led by the Spirit of God are son of God (Rom8:14, 8:1, 8:9) so if we are not born again we will not understand the perfect will and plan of God because God reveal to the redeemed through the Holy Spirit, we will not experiance God in our heart, there will be no joy of salvation and joy of salvation is not what we learnt and understand but what we experiance through the movement of the Holy Spirit. If the leaders ( pastors/ priest ie fathers are not led by the Spirit they will not serve the believers out of real love for God so that believers will experiance the power of God but they will just complete their duties out of commitment to their respective denomination and maintain their position in the congregation with pride im time of triumph and downcast in time of troubles. Whereas if our leaders are Spirit led they will serve with humility and outpouring of love, joy and passion that overflow from his heart and whatever situation may come to him he will never be proud of downcast and mind that my friend Stephan aslo was enable by the Holy Spirit to endure persecution to the point of death. For example Peter deny Jesus three times because that time Holy Spirit was not given because Christ was not glorified but see the difference in him after receiving Holy Spirit baptism. When leaders are not led by the Spirit they and their follower don’t have power to obey the word of God so they will be nominal christain and don’t meet the standard of God’s calling. God made and call us to live a life of glorifying Him (Isa43:7) by giving Him due praise and worship, obeying the commandment of God seal by the Holy Spirit (Heb10:16) to demonstrate love without partiality ( 1cor13), to homour God the right way ( Isa66:2 John4:23) etc and by simply obeying what our leaders teach because each congregation have their own drawback as a result of their unbiblical term and condition laid down by them and we can’t even voice for a change.
    If the leaders preach and teach the full gospel and the response of the believers are positive each will become the temple of the Holy Spirit (Gen2:7, Isa66:2, 2cor6:19) so the Holy Spirit will carry out the plan of God through the vongregation and the believer(s) of that congregation can presen themself as a pleasing sacrifice before God day and night (Rev5:8). But the question ia that whether a good vongregation still exist nowadays or not I am not sure enough . I know that after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD christain were dispersed to the different corner of the earth and we know not much about them after that but before that they really enjoyed the presence of God through prayer and fellowship and many miracle happen. But slowly and gradually in the 1st century AD and about that time christain were intrudef by demonic principles and fall in tha hand of leaders who are carnally christain but afflicted by deminic spirit and consequently true worshipers were being persecuted by nominal christain and will be worst in the days to come.

    By being in a good congregation cannot quaranty about true worshiper but an opportunity for those who are hungry and thirsty for the righteousness of God. Perhaps it seem imposible to find a good congregation but let us pray and intercede that the nation of the earth will turn to God and offer themself as a pleasing sacrifice before God pure and holy worthy to be the bride of Christ.

    Well I have so many suggestion and arguement about this topic but I canot present them in text because I am not experiance, I have only limited time and I am gramatically weak so if anyone of you interested please debate on this comments so that we can come to a conclusion.

  2. hedva January 23, 2017 at 10:44

    All of this is true. However, you must also address the reason people don’t want to go to congregation. What are the complaints? Are people allowed to complain? Is there a forum to address complaints and are they heard? I feel there are several reasons for people not wanting to attend – and those reasons should be taken seriously. Not everyone has a beef, but Here are a few I know of:

    1. Young people are disenchanted after being encouraged by leadership to serve in combat positions in the army, and then finding out the most “moral” army in the world is STILL an army, run by non-believers.
    2. Leaders don’t always set the best example, and don’t have to be accountable.
    3. I, for one, don’t want to sit in a congregation where there’s nothing for me to do but teach kids church….women need to be in leadership.
    4. Our congregations are segregated – how is that a picture of the Kingdom of G-d?
    5. We need to be more outwardly focused. Church/Congregations have turned into “bless me” clubs

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