Church gatherings were never the intended goal; they were the natural result of people finding others who were living their alternative Kingdom story. The goal of our missional life is not to grow churches. The goal of church is to grow missionaries. The goal of the gospel is not to get people to church. The result of the gospel is that people will find each other and gather because of the deep meaning of a common experience.
This is why we encourage church planters not to start the church by launching a church service. Instead, we advocate that they launch people and add the gatherings as needed. When people are bent on mission first, the gathering takes on different purposes. We have found that when the primary values are outward mission and incarnational life, the gathering becomes more about connecting people, corporate storytelling, vision casting, and celebration.