Tuesday, 8 May 2012


Ecclesiastically, there is a fundamental difference between connexional churches and those of an independent polity.  Connexional churches do not seem to subscribe to the idea of a ‘gathered church,’ though this is how independents see the local church.

Yet the irony is that when connexional churches meet to elect a minister, or elders, or deacons/committee members, or decide on major capital spend, etc, they work on the basis of the ‘gathered church.’  It is the ‘gathered church’ that makes decisions on all important matters, not the total church membership.  

Also, it is then 'gathered church' that meets around the Lord's Table and witnesses Christian Baptism.

So Presbyterians need to take a fresh look at their church polity and acknowledge that they also work on the basis of the ‘gathered church’ when it is appropriate to do so  This is an admission that the ‘gathered church’ is the practical way of doing church business.  So if it is OK for these important matters, why not look at the church through this lens. 

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