FREE Armorbearer
Mini-Course & Training Kit including 'How To Setup
Armor-bearer Team'
We respect your privacy. No spam!

We The Sheep Part 3 The Power of Congregation

We The Sheep Part 3

My life has been rooted in the congregation. I know many of you can say the same. Let me start with a story of my humble beginnings. As a young teen at my uncle's church, St John Missionary Baptist Church, in Marianna, Arkansas I and my family made the decision that it was time for me to be baptized.

In the process of that in our church we would be prepared for it. In the evening services, the candidates would go to the mourners bench where we would prepare ourselves spiritually to be baptized; it was a beautiful experience for a young Christian. It was about fifteen of us and it seemed to take a week of preparation before the baptismal service.

One of the positions we took is we would pray as we knelt on the mourners bench. I remember it as if it was yesterday. I really didn't know what to do so I prayed the Lord's prayer about thirty times. Which is funny to me now; but I believe the Lord was blessed with my intentions.

So after that time of waiting before the Lord and church procedures we would go to the lake. I remember one of the songs we would sing; it goes like this, "Take me to the water. Take me to the water. Take me to the water, where my help comes from. It actually brought tears to my eyes. This river that we would go to is one of those rivers that I will never forget. I cherish it because my Grandpa Ford and I fished it with my brothers many times. The name of the lake is Long Lake Dream. There were a dozen lakes that he would take us to. I still remember their names.

One time we were in the boat and Grandpa caught an alligator gar fish. He was so big he actually pulled the boat. When he finally caught and dragged the fish in the boat,  his long teeth scratched me. Back to the Long Lake Dream Baptismal, we were all dressed in white. I have distinct memories of the muddy water and the mud squishing between my toes. This is a part of the congregation that was imparted into me that I will never forget and I will cherish every moment of it for the rest of my life.

The Congregation

There are benefits of being a part of a congregation. But before we talk about that, let's look at some defining terms:

  • Congregation: a gathering, assemblage, assemble.
  • Congregation in the Greek, Ekklesia meaning church. Congregation and assembly are the same.
  • Assembly in the Greek Sunalizo: To gather together, to assemble, with the suggestion of a crowd meeting.
  • Sun alizo: Sun with halizo, to crowd or mass. The corresponding adjective is hales: Thronged.

The writer of Acts 1:14 described it beautifully, "They all joined together constantly in prayer along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers."

I wanted to give you the historic meaning of the word so that we may all know where it all derived from and the reason why we do what we do, congregate and I believe this should help.

As a Bible believer and a faithful church attendant, I wanted to start off this article with the definition of the word congregation. It is my full belief that we are commanded in the word of God to congregate, assemble as it says or forsake not the assembling of ourselves together.

Hebrews 10:19 Therefore brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Holy Place by the Blood of Jesus, by a new and living way open for us through the curtain, that is his body and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching.

In English modern terms stay faithful in church. That scripture explains it perfectly; it encourages us to stay faithful to the call and to stay faithful in our fellowship.

The Importance of the Congregation

For one thing, there's power in numbers. And another thing is where there are two or more believers gathered, Jesus is there. Scripture also tells us, "One shall put one thousand to flight and two shall put ten thousand to flight!" This is God's law of agreement; now that’s the true power of agreement.

Can you see why, the enemy of our soul, his assignment is to stop the unity of Christ and His Church. If he can stop the unity of the church and our will to assemble he wins the battle. But may that be far from me and his mighty Church. Amen! I know for me with God's strength and the Body of Christ I will never stop the congregation, the assembling of ourselves together.

My Story and the Power of the Rebuke

I love the new year and the fresh beginnings it brings. Even so, in the final days of 2011 I wouldn't know anything about it. A couple of days before the new year 2012 I was working. By trade I am a professional tree arborist. Like the Apostle Paul, I symbolically call it my tent making business. That day I may have worked a little harder then usual which caused my resistance to drop.

Anyway, after I got off work my wife and I celebrated a successful day. We went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants; we came home; I had a headache and went to bed early; that was my last memory of the year.

From this point, I have to give the information from my wife's perspective. For, technically, I was in a coma. That night she woke up and noticed I was breathing different. She tried to get me up and I wouldn't wake up so she called 911 and the ambulance came and picked me up. I was admitted to emergency room where they tried a few hours to wake me with no success. They put me in I.C.U and they worked on me for 24 hours trying to wake me up and diagnose what was wrong.

Now don’t let the drama run you off; I'm still talking about the congregation. And at that point I hadn't woke up. My wife was calling everyone she could think of that she thought might pray. According to her, she called every elder we were in relationship with and the pastor that was in direct authority over us. Why am I telling you these details? Just in case you've haven't experienced this, I want you to see the Body of Christ, the Saints of God, the Congregation in operation. I found out later that one of the elders Earma called notified our church pastoral team; then the 1000 Man Prayer group and other prayer groups kicked into action and prayed.

Meanwhile, the doctors were thinking it was a highly contagious virus and had quarantined me. Then I was told the cavalry, representatives of the congregation several pastors, elders and friends came. Earma tells them that I wouldn't wake up so they began to pray. Later that morning, in steps Pastor Sam. He, I and others had recently been to our Flagstaff, Arizona campus on a mission trip.

There were some that said, the doctors said it might be a contagious virus; this could be bad, I’m not going in there. But Pastor Sam said, "I'll go in." And with the authority of the church on his shoulders and the power of rebuke at his side, he strapped his mask and protective gown on and came in with my wife.

According to my wife, they prayed over me and went back outside with the others. Moments later, they were standing outside my room quietly talking. Pastor Sam telling jokes about how I was going to be up and feeding the poor pretty soon and then prophesying, "Varn, we have need of you. Get up!" The nurse runs out and says, "He's awake!" They look over and I'm sitting up rubbing my eyes.

As for me, I woke up rubbing my eyes and saying to myself what am I doing in this pink room? Then seeing my wife crying and praising God. Confused but feeling her pain so intense that I began to tear up, I said honey why are you crying...The rest is history; I made a miraculous recovery with very little traces there had been anything wrong. One of the senior doctors proclaimed, "You must know the man upstairs pretty darn good; or you have a lot of good people praying for you. Your recovery is miraculous.."

So my point is simply this, I belong to the Body of Christ and a Congregation. That is the response we will receive when we are in need. Do you see it, the importance of it, belonging? My pastor said it best, "Christ not only died so we could believe; he died so we could belong to the family of God. I hope you heard my heart, it was not to brag about who came and how many prayed and all that. The point in this story is to spur you to good works and to be obedient and truly join a church, get plugged in and become faithful to God's congregation.

An Emergency in the Congregation

Act 20:7-12  On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and because he intended to leave the next day, he kept talking on until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seating in the window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. Don’t be alarmed, he said. He’s alive! Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate, after talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

Now the reason I put this word in this article is because I believe we will see this kind of miracle in the Church in these last days more and more, the Body of Christ the Congregation.

Being faithful in His Congregation!

Rev. Varn E Brown, Sr.   

Resource Box

What did you think of today’s blog? Rev. Brown loves to hear from you. Do you have a comment? Please post your thoughts, comments or questions below in the comment box. For more of Rev. Varn Brown's teaching about the people of God, get a copy of his latest book In the Spirit of Leadership: God's Mighty Men & Women at the Shield Shop.

Comments (0)

New comments are currently disabled.