Failure to comprehend the body

by Robert Girard

Failure to comprehend the body has us blinded to the real spiritual power released in the interaction between believers.

~ Brethern, Hang Together, p. 44

Gifts must be shared openly

by Robert Girard

There must be developed somewhere the kind of church fellowship in which a person with any legitimate spiritual gift can share its blessing openly.

~ Brethren, Hang Loose, p. 209

Take the Body with you through your troubles

by Robert Girard

It soon becomes apparent that those who go through deep trouble saying nothing about it in the Body actually suffer more than those who take the Body with them through their struggles and thus have the prayers and encouragement of the Body as they go through it.

~ Brethren, Hang Loose, p. 196

The early believers were so excited

by Robert Girard

In the First Century Church, unbelievers became believers at gatherings of the believers, but that does not seem to be the purpose that brought them together.  . . . the reason for gathering together was so that those who were already believers could be taught by the apostles, enjoy spiritual fellowship with one another, remember the Lord’s death and its benefits by sharing communion, and pray together.

As they did this, they began to love each other and to care for each other. The became personal enough with each other to notice their brothers and sisters in need.

. . .the believers were so excited about the way they were loved, the Life they had to share with the world, and about what God was doing for them, in them, among them and through them, that the people they talked to spontaneously, wanted to get in on the happening.

~ Brethren, Hang Loose, p. 81

That church was characterized by love

by Robert Girard

When I read The Acts of the Apostles and compared it with nearly all the churches I had ever known, I felt frustrated, hopeless and a little sick.

The dynamic New Testament church effectively communicated Christ to its generation. Most of the church, as I knew it, wasn’t eve really concerned about that. It was too busy with other things.

That church was characterized by love for one another that was so real, even the world knew about it.

~ Brethren, Hang Loose, p. 20

The priesthood of the believers

by Robert Girard

The church has no business trying to provide a setting for anonymity. A place for people to hide, remain private, live to themselves. The church’s function is to be an environment in which every believer is provided the opportunity, the encouragement, and the freedom to be, in his own peculiar way, a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, a priest among priests, offering spiritual sacrifices to God and bringing God into focus for people.

The church setting needs to be the kind of atmosphere that moves people outside of themselves and into the kind of close relationships in which spiritual ministry is the normal exchange between people. The church is to be an environment in which it is possible to know each other well enough to be serving each other’s real needs. the church is to be a setting for the exchange of burdens and helps as well as ideas. It is to be a “spiritual house for the holy priesthood.” … Somewhere in church life there must be opened up wide places where there can be mutual ministry (interaction) among the members of the body. It is as indispensable to the health and growth of the church as preaching and teaching, prayer, and worship, or evangelism. The church must do more than talk about the priesthood of the believers.

Brethern, Hang Together, p. 131

What the early church concentrated

by Robert Girard

What the early church concentrated on, “promoted,” taught, encouraged, pressed for, led to, and exemplified in the New Testament letters, was the development of two vital relationships.

The first concern, a living personal relationship with Jesus Christ, was epitomized by the phrase, “filled with the Spirit.”

The second concern, a healthy, harmonious fellowship with fellow believers, was epitomized by the concept, “agape love.”

Brethern, Hang Together, p. 60

The church as a family thrives on getting personal

by Robert girard

The church as a family thrives on getting personal. If you are going to love your brother, you need to know your brother. If you are going to minister to his needs, you have to know what his needs are. If he is going to support and strengthen you, he has to know where you are weak and need support.

Brethern, Hang Together, p. 21

The true nature of the church is relationship

by Robert Girard.

The true nature of the church is relationship . . . loving, personal relationship to Gd and to each other as Christians and as human beings. If healthy, loving, personal relationships are lacking, there is nothing to knit the church together around the Head—in effect, there is no church.

Among the deepest tragedies deriving from the institutionalization of the church (chiefly since the beginning of the fourth century) has been that Christians have lost touch with this heart of the church’s reality and true nature — the primacy of personal relationship. the church itself, because of it institutional focus, has become a major hindrance to the fulfillment of Christ’s scheme for effective revelation of Himself in the world.

Brethern, Hang Together, p.11

Cutting down on organizational structure

by Robert Girard

He reports that Our Heritage Church in Arizona, in order to free the structures and organization for the Spirit to move amongst them, made this operational rule:

Anything in the church program that cannot be maintained without constant pastoral pressure on people to be involved should be allowed to die a sure and natural death.

He reports that three choirs dies within two months, as did mid-week service and several committees.

~ Brethren, Hang Loose, p. 73