Let me just state it clearly: attending a church service is not the same as being a church family. The church, according to the New Testament, means being involved with one another in an open, vulnerable, and interactive relationship...
If God had intended the Sunday service to have top priority, he would have commanded the practice in the Bible, but he did not. Instead there are many passages that address what the church should be and what people need in the church. According to the New Testament, people in a church need to:
By the way, "one another" does not mean a pastor interacting with a congregation; it means everybody interacting with everybody else...
- Love one another (John 13:34).
- Be devoted to one another and give preference to one another (Rom. 12:10).
- Accept one another (Rom. 15:7).
- Wait for one another before eating (1 Cor. 11:33).
- Care for one another (1 Cor. 12:25).
- Greet one another with a holy kiss (2 Cor. 13:12).
- Bear one another's burdens (Gal. 6:2).
- Tolerate one another (Eph. 4:2).
- Be kind to one another and forgive each other (Eph. 4:32).
- Speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19).
- Submit to one another (Eph. 5:21).
- Regard one another as more important than oneself (Phil. 2:3).
- Share God's message and admonish one another (Col. 3:16).
- Comfort one another (1 Thess. 4:18).
- Encourage and build up one another (1 Thess. 5:11).
- Live in peace with one another (1Thess. 5:13).
- Confess sins to one another and pray for one another (James 5:16).
- Be hospitable to one another (1 Peter 4:9).
- Serve one another (1 Peter 4:10).
- Fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7).
- And yes, gather together (Heb. 10:25), ...in such a way that we can challenge one another to love and good deeds (v.24). In other words, to live out together all the other mandates given above.
So, there ya go. Some interesting stuff. And I agree. I think "church" means something completely different than what we usually think of.
Peace out; and in.