By Steve Simms
Bottled water is nice; but it is very limited and controlled. It's good to give bottled water to thirsty people, but if done continually, people become dependent on the bottling plant, rather than on the true, living Source of the water.
The Christian church has had the tendency to make people continually dependent on one supplier, a pastor (or religious "service"), rather than on the true Source of living water. People are encouraged to attend church every week so that they can be "fed" by a sermon or by liturgy. Now there's nothing wrong with that, but God has so much more for us.
The rivers of living water (that Jesus promised His followers would flow out of them) are an unlimited Source. They not only quench our personal thirst, but those inner rivers also of cleanse us, free us from oppression, comfort us, heal us, fill us with supernatural power, and enable us to effectively share the risen Jesus with others and to see multitudes of lives transformed.
Perhaps, it's time to go beyond Sunday meetings that offer people a weekly bottle of water and to reconnect with the endless rivers that can flow within each one of us. But how?
First, we need to begin to realize that God has more for us than merely being "fed" from a bottle on Sunday mornings. Then we need to unclog our inner rivers (by humility, openness, and repentance) and let them flow even though their flowing is often outside of our comfort zone. This can be done most effectively when we gather with others in small home assemblies (ekklesias) and begin to let our rivers flow together as we minister to one another as prompted by the Holy Spirit.
ONE: Unfolding God's Eternal Purpose From House To House puts it like this:
"The body of Christ cannot be built when the majority of believers are dormant and not exercising their gifts...Believers are trained by tradition to go to church rather than assembling according to the New Testament ordained way in homes. When the assembly is in a home (house to house) with no clergy, where everyone is accepted equally as a brother and sister in Christ, and where there is an open forum without a set program and format, believers will be in an environment where their gifts will develop and manifest naturally."