Unified Congregationalism, or, doing what you didn’t think you wanted to

We had a congregational meeting tonight. We have them once a month. They range from redundant and idiosyncratic to troubling to exciting.

One passage that is often taken without context is Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them.” Often it is taken as a promise that even if an unsuccessful church event is held, God is still there.

While that’s true, Christ Jesus is there when you are alone as well. And by the grace of God the Holy Spirit indwells even you! So what’s the significance of Matthew 18:20?

The point is that Jesus is there with the congregation when it makes decisions. Matthew 18:20 completes an unpopular section where church discipline is commanded (Matthew 18:15-20). So, Jesus is there with authority in these difficult decisions about turning a church member over to Satan (1 Timothy 1:18-20). And that ensures us that other congregational decisions are made with confidence that Christ is there working His will out through His fallible and continually erring people.

So the next time you or I participate in a congregational meeting, whether you voice your vote for or against (or even abstain?), do so with confidence that the Lord is working His will. And when you get voted against and it passes, put your heart into the Lord’s work and do what you didn’t think you wanted to because your Lord Jesus was there, sovereign and glorious as ever!