Activities to Introduce into New Churches

January 21, 2021

Biblical Christianity, from its inception, has remained a corporate faith, expressed through frequent gatherings. The New Testament describes many of the activities that early Christians included in their assemblies. Through the centuries, various other traditions have also been taught and practiced.

When starting churches, leaders must choose activities and cultural forms that they will introduce in new gatherings. Drawing on both Scripture and tradition, they set priorities according to the following:

  1. Introduce activities that Jesus or his apostles commanded in Scripture. These are required.
  2. Introduce helpful activities that Jesus’ apostles practiced, but did not command.
  3. Introduce helpful activities that derive from tradition, unless these hinder commanded activities.


Assemble together

Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20

In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.  1 Corinthians 12:13

Meet together, … encouraging one another. Hebrews 10.25

Come together. 1 Corinthians 11:18; 14:26

Under leadership

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons. Philippians 1:1

He gave … the shepherds and teachers, … for building up the body of Christ Ephesians 4:11-12

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls. Hebrews 13:17

All participate

You can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged. 1 Corinthians 14:31

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:7

Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said 1 Corinthians 14:29

Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. James 5:16

You also ought to wash one another’s feet. John 13:14

Greet one another with a holy kiss. Romans 16:16

Brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another. 2 Corinthians 13:11

Exhort one another every day. Hebrews 3:13

Praise God

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3

They lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them Acts 4:24

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name Hebrews 13:15

Confess Christ

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness. 1 Timothy 3:16

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope…,  not neglecting to meet together. Hebrews 10:23-25

Read Scripture

When this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. Colossians 4:16

Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 1 Timothy 4:13


They devoted themselves to … the prayers. Acts 2:42

Many were gathered together and were praying. Acts 12:12

I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also. Corinthians 14:15

Brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored. 2 Thessalonians 3:1

Pray for one another, that you may be healed. James 5:16


I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 1 Corinthians 14:15

be filled with the Spirit,  addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart Ephesians 5:18-19

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, … singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16


Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching Romans 12:6-7

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:1


they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching. Acts 2:42

He gave … teachers,  to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ Ephesians 4:11-12

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, Colossians 3:16

An overseer must be … able to teach 1 Timothy 3:2


If, therefore, the whole church comes together and … if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all. 1 Corinthians 14:23-24

As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:26

Celebrate the Lord’s Supper

They devoted themselves …  to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42

Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes. Acts 2:46

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 10:16

Eat meals

Day by day, attending the temple …, they received their food with glad and generous hearts Acts 2:46

When you come together to eat, wait for one another. 1 Corinthians 11:33-34

Give freely

They devoted themselves to … the fellowship. Acts 2:42

All who believed were together and had all things in common. Acts 2:44


In new churches, it may prove wise to introduce only a few activities at first, introducing more activities over several weeks or months. Discuss with local leaders culturally-appropriate forms and ways for each activity. 


Posted in , / By Kevin Weigelt