11/13/16 - Authority
Many churches today build what they call "fellowship halls" or "fellowship buildings" (and now "family life centers") to accommodate their social and recreational activities, and even hire "fellowship ministers" to plan and supervise such activities. However, such activities fall outside of the realm of scripturally authorized congregational work. The Greeks and the Romans were very much into feasting, games, contests, exercise, and entertainment, and they built baths, pools, gymnasiums, theaters, and stadiums to accommodate such; but churches of the Lord in that same time were into assembling for worship, teaching, exhortation, edification, and they provided places to accommodate such. They were primarily interested in glorifying God and saving lost souls. They did not resort to gimmicks and carnal means to attract or keep the people. The gospel of Christ and the blessings that come through it were all they had and all they needed to offer the world.
Churches in the New Testament did not employ such things, but how they grew! Theirs was a spiritual mission with eternity in view. All they had with which to attract the lost was the gospel of Christ, themselves as living examples of that gospel, a Savior who was willing and able to save, fellowship with God and the children of God, and the hope of eternal life in heaven. They did not resort to material gimmicks to attract and to hold the lost, nor should we. They knew the difference between their fellowship in Christ and what passes for "fellowship" in religion today. Let us emulate them.