Setting Up a Church Schedule

Question?   -   Newsletter   -   New!
How can a church schedule be set up? What should be done during the time Christians gather together to worship God?

Well, my brothers and sisters, let's summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you (1Corinthians 14:26, NLT unless otherwise stated).

Chapters 12 through 14 of First Corinthians contains much information about what brethren should do in their church meetings. They want to let the Spirit of God work, but also make sure that everyone is strengthened by it. These chapters discuss many people contributing to the service, they never set time limits. It is not possible to precisely schedule the activities described here. Even so, the Apostle Paul does teach limits on activities of the Spirit.

Let two or three people prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said (1Corinthians 14:29).

No more than two or three should speak in tongues. They must speak one at a time, and someone must interpret what they say (verse 27).

How can you set up a basic church schedule for a fellowship group? Some groups operate quite successfully with little more than a starting time and place for their meetings. Others print a timeline for services each week and largely stick to it.

Most of the churches in the New Testament appeared fairly small. They met in homes or, in one case, a school (Romans 16:5, 1Corinthians 16:19, Colossians 4:5, Acts 19:9). With fewer people, less of a schedule is needed. Larger groups require more scheduling. For example, the much larger Temple services had specific times for specific things.

And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense (Luke 1:10, ESV).

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour (Acts 3:1, ESV).

Today, businesses open and close at specific hours and most people expect a church to do the same thing. Indeed, it can be beneficial for brethren to know when a congregation will be singing, praying, teaching adults, eating together, and so on.

The biggest danger of most church schedules is that they largely prevent the congregation from doing many of the things in 1Corinthians 12 - 14 because they are never on the schedule. After a short time people forget about doing them.

The church should be a place for all of the brethren to use their spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6 - 8, 1Corinthians 12:7 - 11, 12:28 - 13:1, 14:26, Ephesians 4:11 - 15, 1Peter 4:7 - 11). However, most people who attend a fellowship today would not know how to do that. Start with a church schedule that has prayer, praise and worship music, teaching and church meals. Never give up, however, adding new Scriptural instruction.

This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ (Ephesians 4:13, NLT).

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