It is interesting that the Gospels discuss Christ’s actions outside of the temple. There were quite a number of healings, meetings, sermons, and gatherings with Christ outside of a “church” setting.
Intentional? More than likely. How easy is it for someone to slip quietly into a gathering of people and observe the happenings? They would not have to show identification or tell the organizers who referred them. Observers could listen to the message Christ was delivering and decide for themselves what to make of this Man.
This may be a novice’s observation but hasn’t the present day church strayed from that concept. Why must rosters and attendance records be kept on Believers? Does God not know how often you attend church and which church you attend? Is God going to ask you to present your record of attendance and letters of recommendation from three Believers before you enter heaven?
Please do not use this article as motivation for you to claim that you are the Christ and begin to hold meetings at random places throughout the city to promote your philosophy. That is not the point. The point is it seems the only time Believers gather as a collective assembly without the divisions of denomination (or lack of denomination) is when a disaster happens or for a crusade.
Disaster example: The 9/11 attacks have been in the news lately because of the demise of Osama Bin Laden. When the attacks happened the leaders in Durham organized a prayer gathering within 24 hours that was held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The event was well attended. (Spoken by someone who was in attendance.)
Crusade example: A few years ago Greg Laurie visited Raleigh’s RBC Center for a Harvest Crusade. Not only was this event well attended but participant seating overflowed into the parking lot on the last night. (Spoken again by someone who was in attendance.) Of course this event took longer than 24 hours to organize and included help from over 300 churches.
An idea was mentioned in the National Day of Prayer article written in this space last week. The idea: Believers gathering together weekly to pray to God because of their love for Him. Either readers thought the question was rhetorical. (It wasn’t) Or the Believers who read the article didn’t have any suggestions of any open space, not related to a particular church, to recommend. (Hard to fathom but understandable.) Or the possible answer which is the most disheartening is that Christ’s followers are content with the current state of the Body of Christ and are happy to dwell in their individual boxes until a disaster or a crusade draws them out.