It is very well known that we with our brotherhood are not very well present in all countries. When people have no ecclesia nearby this should not stop them to start an ecclesia in their own region. Today we give you some idea from our brethren of the second half of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. The English Christadelphian writer Frank George Jannaway, mostly known for his writings on Jewish settlement in Palestine, and notable for his role in the conscientious objector tribunals of World War I, wrote the following, concerning forming an ecclesia.
Nobody should stop you from trying to bring different people together at your own place and having a house meeting or house church. When having found Christ and following him it is importatn to associatte with others who have found Jesus. It is then important to be with one mind, one purpose, one spirit, and one body, living together, helping and loving one another, caring for each other, and willing to give the known resources to one another, sharing the life of prayer and worship with each other. Jesus and his heavenly Father want a family and not just a bunch of saved individuals. By coming together that close relationship can be shown also to the outer world.
How to Form an Ecclesia
Of course, it is understood that the word Ecclesia is here used in its conventional sense:
“Known and read of all men”,
as the saying is, and the following advice is given accordingly.
1. Let all those in the district who have the desire arrange a preliminary meeting to discuss the matter, time and place being arranged to meet the general convenience.
2. Appoint a president who, having previously obtained a “Statement of Faith” issued by some well-known Ecclesia, will carefully read same to those assembled to see that all are of one mind thereon, and having done so, adopt such as the proposed Ecclesia’s “Statement of Faith”.
3. Ascertain the time and place most convenient to the majority of the members for the Sunday Breaking of Bread, and a mid-week Bible Class; agree on such until more suitable arrangements are found.
4. The appointment of speakers will depend upon the material available, but be content with small beginnings, and rather have one of the addresses from “Seasons of Comfort” than mere platitudes, or something worse from a “novice”, however self-confident he may be.
5. For the Bible Class, under similar conditions we would recommend half the time be devoted to reading systematically, and conversation thereon for the other half, of such works as “Elpis Israel“, “Ministry of the Prophets”, “Law of Moses“, “Visible Hand of God”, or “Ways of Providence“.
6. Don’t forget 1 Cor. xvi. 2 and Rev. xxii. 17.
Thus (as was the case, as we know, with two sisters in isolation) funds will be accumulated for public efforts, which, however, should not be attempted by “novices” without the advice and help of experienced brethren from the nearest Ecclesias.
7. To those thinking about starting a new Ecclesia, we would say, read “Guide to the Formation and Conduct of Christadelphian Ecclesias”, by R. Roberts.
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