We can take heed to the admonition given by the Psalmist: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”85 If we attempt to start a Church gathering without the calling of the Lord, the entire endeavor can be in vain. If the Church model is not built solely upon the Word of God then we can end up building our own church86 and not the Lord’s. To have a desire to escape a religious atmosphere in order to have a less formal meeting where people are free to ‘just be themselves’—without reverence for God or submission to authority—is not the Church. We are deceived if we think we can redefine the body of Christ to be a place where there is no leadership, no holy presence of God, no conviction of the Spirit, no crying out to God in prayer. We live in a world where comfort, happiness and financial prosperity are the goals, but we know that, “friendship with the world is hatred towards God.”87 We must look not to the culture around us for our example, but to our Lord and to the example of the early followers of Christ.
Another helpful thing for us to do, is to look outside ourselves to countries where there are true organic models of New Testament Christianity being formed by the Holy Spirit. We think of the house Church movement in China, the underground Church in North Korea, and many others who are forced to rely solely on the Holy Spirit to guide their meetings. Such believers are not looking to find a model of Church that fits them or feels right for them, rather God is leading them to be His Church. Many of us reading this volume live in Western countries where not only the secular culture, but the church itself, has become saturated with a busy worldly mentality. The work of the Church cannot be done with the world’s ways or methods. There must be a divorcing of this system of men when we are seeking to be involved with the Lord in the building of His Church on this earth. Clever ideas never build the heavenly Jerusalem but just build Babylon on the earth. We are to be led by the Spirit of God submitting to what the Lord wants according to His Word. If our heart cry is, “Not my will, but Yours be done,”88 when looking to establish a more Biblical meeting of the Church, we should come to the Scriptures and ask, God, what does Your Church look like? He is faithful to show and guide.
We should nurture the type of mindset the Apostle Paul had when he declared to the Church in Corinth that we are only servants doing God’s will. “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?”89
A servant has one purpose only and that is to please his Master and receive directions from Him.90 Thus we must hear the Holy Spirit of God directing us when setting out to start a fellowship gathering and we must remember the Spirit of God will never lead contrary to the revealed Word of God.91 So we should be careful not to follow any method of man92 but rather endeavor to be led of God’s Spirit back to the Word of God.
As God directs in the formation of the body of Christ, and as we follow the whole counsel of the Word of God, sharing our faith freely, the Lord will add to the Church daily.93 We simply need to follow His directions by the Holy Spirit of God. The New Testament writings with divine direction from the Holy Spirit will guide you. Holy reliance on His Word and obedience to the direction of God will build your gathering into the Church God desires.