When I say the word “church,” just about everyone is going to think about a building or a particular congregation that attends the sermons held in a particular building. We’ve done exactly what Paul warned against – we’ve become the “church of Apollo” and the “church of Paul” and the “First Baptist Church of Somewhere, Virginia”. However, the Church is the whole body of the elect, whether they be in Corinth or Thessaloniki, whether they have studied the works of Martin Luther or John Calvin or none of the above.
The church is no more relegated to the temple, to a building or a particular priesthood. We are the church, and we worship our Lord in spirit and in truth.
Other Ways to Host Church
There are so many things we can do as a body of believers. Wherever three or more are gathered in Jesus’ name, there He is in their midst. Here are some ideas of alternative services that combine valuable things with worship and Scriptural exegesis:
- Skeet and Scripture – gather at the gun range to shoot guns and study the Word
- Bible Boxing – gather at a gym to go a few rounds with friends and brethren, listening to the Word between rounds
- Cooking with Christ – hold a Bible study and communal group in the kitchen, preparing food to share with each other and/or feed the needy
There are a few things in common to all these ideas. In the first place, these are all activities that are individually enjoyable but simultaneously beneficial – they benefit the mind and body while enriching the spirit. The problem with hosting church concerts (“contemporary services”), holding gaming events for kids, hosting lockins, and the like is that the activity is the focus and not the Scripture. Gaming, in particular, tends to be very absorbing, and it’s a sedentary activity that develops few useful skills and enriches little. Boxing and other gym activities are physically intensive and profit us (1 Tim 4:8); cooking produces good food that can be shared and provides energy; shooting and the like are masculine activities that simulate hunting, developing valuable skills.
In the second place, all of these activities naturally lend themselves to downtime. There are only so many lanes at the range, so while some shoot others can hear a sermon or study the Scripture. Only two boxers are ever in the ring, and in friendly boxing matches there are only a few rounds, so there is ample time to preach and commune. Cooking has its periods of high intensity (mostly in prep), but it also is relatively quiet and so easy to do while conversing about spiritual things.
Finally, all of these activities lend themselves well to men. We have a problem in the West where women need to be actively involved in everything men do, including the church, and this means that there’s a natural barrier on men most of the time. However, the apostle Paul advocated that men teach each other in the church and women learn from their husbands and fathers, so there must be a way to isolate the men from the women for such studies. By focusing on masculine activities that enrich testosterone, such groups can not only edify the bodies and minds of their members but also enrich the spirit in a group that naturally inhibits female desire for participation.
What do You Think?
Would you be interested in attending a gym where you study Scripture while you fight or lift? Would you like a way to gather with other Christian men in the absence of women, for study and conversation? Do you have more ideas for activities to organize church gatherings around?
Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it!