A Balanced Ministry Strategy

Paul summarized his ministry strategy in Acts 20:20. He taught the Word of God to new and growing believers in public gatherings and in private homes.

I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house…

In our ministry approach today, we easily favor one setting over another, whether public gatherings or private homes. If we gather publicly as a church, at an actual church building or other facility, we do not err. The early church met publicly, especially on the Lord’s Day (Sunday), which was a biblical practice (Acts 20:6, 1 Cor. 16:1-2, cf. Rev. 1:10). Where did they meet in public?

  • The Jerusalem Temple (Acts 2:46)
  • Other religious buildings, like synagogues (Acts 19:8)
  • Public education buildings (Acts 19:9)
  • Underground burial sites (early church history)

These examples reveal that public gatherings, especially on the Lord’s Day, are legitimate. At the same time, if we gather in private homes as a church, especially during the week, we do not err (Acts 2:46, 5:42). In fact, I believe that church gatherings in private homes have equal importance to regular public gatherings. Public gatherings increase unity by facilitating corporate worship and teaching on a corporate scale, as members share the same experience and hear the same message together. It also enables more spiritual gifts to benefit more believers. But home gatherings strengthen personal relationships, increase involvement and open doors for church expansion and growth.

A balanced ministry strategy features both regular public gatherings of believers as an entire church assembly and also regular gatherings in homes, with smaller groups from the broader assembly gathering to worship, fellowship and study the Word of God together.

 

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