Wonderful Reminders of What it Means to Break Bread

Rethinking what church growth means. Is small the new big?Shane Johnson has an excellent post over at the assemblyHUB blog today entitled “How NOT to Break Bread.” If you have not seen his post yet, I suggest heading over there and checking it out.

In his post Shane beautifully expresses why the Lord’s Supper is precious to both himself and the Lord Jesus Christ. Shane writes:

The Lord’s Supper is precious – both to the Lord and to the believer. Most of what I have learned about the person of Christ, His peerless character, and priestly work on the cross I have learned during that joyous hour we call the breaking of bread.

 

The bread and cup re-fix my eyes on the Lord better than any sermon can ever do, re-anchoring my heart on the hope-filled empty tomb.

Shane also reminds us that the Breaking of Bread is not about us:

Whenever I attend a wedding, it also helps me appreciate the meaning of the breaking of bread in a greater way. The best man’s speech is always focused on the groom, never on anyone or anything else. The best man speaks of the groom’s qualities – his loyalty, his selflessness, his humility, etc. The best man does not speak about what he has done for the groom.

 

To center our attention directly on the groom is the best man’s job, to heighten our appreciation and evaluation of him, and to reveal things about him that we may not have known or have forgotten. The best man does not speak about other interesting things, facts about history, or his own personal interests, which only serve to take the focus off the all-important groom, but solely on the bridegroom’s glory. After all, it’s his day not ours.

The Breaking of Bread is really all about Him… The Lord Jesus Christ…

We should filter our thoughts. Only those thoughts that reveal, remember or refine our understanding of His character and work should receive “air time” at the meeting. All other thoughts should be kept to ourselves. The Holy Spirit seeks to glorify Christ (John 16:14) not us.

 

When we speak at the Lord’s Supper, we influence and direct the worship of the entire congregation and should be careful not to disrupt the incense of adoration being raised up to the Lord. Before we share we should ask ourselves: does this reveal something about His character? Does this cause us to remember or revisit what He did for us? How does this refine our understanding of Him?

I encourage you to check out the entire post over at assemlbyHUB.

Link: How NOT to Break Bread

 

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Is Small the New Big? Rethinking What Church Growth Means

Rethinking what church growth means. Is small the new big?
 

It seems the only metric people use to evaluate a local church are the number of people they can see. However, does such an observation truly reveal the health of a local church? Or is this overly simplistic? Is this the way our Lord Jesus Christ evaluates a local assembly?

In my recent assemblyHUB post I explore these questions and what some of the implications may be.

Link: Is Small the New Big?

 

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Should Local Assemblies Have Recognized Elders?

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Brother Gary McBride has an excellent post today on the assemblyHUB blog entitled Should We Have Elders Today? In his article brother Gary outlines why he believes local assemblies (churches) should have elders. He supports his position by looking at relevant scriptures passages and by exploring a few real life considerations.

While this topic may seem strange– most Protestant church groups practice some form of eldership and the New Testament seems to clearly teach eldership– there are some groups who hold to the teaching that elders are not for today.

Gary writes in part:

The premise of this article is that the office was introduced at the beginning of this age and is applicable for the whole period. In the epistles there are at least six references to elders. The references are as follows: Philippians 1:1, 1Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17-20; Titus 1:5-9; James 5:14; and 1Peter 5:1-4. To these could be added Acts 20:17 and 28, though Acts is narrative and not necessarily normative. Paul is giving a discourse that includes doctrine. There are also four verses that reference those who rule or who are in authority: 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13; and Hebrews 13:7, 17.

and…

A plurality in leadership, elders or overseers is the most likely expectation of the reader of the New Testament. Most individuals reading through the Bible would assume that the pattern seen and the topic spread thoughout the New Testament would be visible today. It may be true that the church in the Western world is far from the simplicity and spirituality of the early church, but that is not necessarily true in the entire world. In addition, there is no scripture either stated or implied that indicates the office of elder is to cease.

and…

Experientially I have found that with or without recognition someone has to take leadership. Regardless of the size of the assembly and the mechanics of decision making, someone or a plurality has to take the lead. In assemblies without designated elders either the majority of the men take leadership or only certain men are invited to be in leadership. It seems to me that in many ways it is merely a matter of semantics – there are men in leadership but the word “elders” is not used.

I encourage you to read Gary’s full article here.

 

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Full disclosure: I am a member of the assemblyHUB.com leadership team.
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assembyHUB

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I am totally excited to announce that I am participating in a brand new ministry project called assemblyHUB!

One reason for my excitement is that assemblyHUB focus is the North American New Testament assemblies as I explain in one of today’s inaugural posts:


“Presently the assemblies are at a critical juncture. While we continue benefit from those who have gone before us, we must not rely on the blessings of prior generations to sustain us indefinitely. Individually and collectively, we must cry out to God for His mercy, leading, and empowerment to meet the challenges of our day. We must also have the fortitude and courage to follow where He leads.

My prayer is that the Lord will use the assemblyHUB website to encourage the saints to be busy going about His business; that we would tenaciously hold to that which is scriptural, be willing to free ourselves of the traditions of men, and to redeem the time we are given.”

The motivation behind this new ministry is best expressed Allan Dunlap in another of today’s inaugural posts:

“The purpose of [assemblyHUB] is to build up and challenge assemblies to consider the principles of the NT and how they can be applied to assembly and personal life. The focus will be on positive teaching and exhortation.”

So I encourage you to connect with assemblyHUB check it out for yourself!

Links: Web, Facebook, Twitter

 

Enjoy!

 

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