In church life there can be the subtle pressure to conform to the expected pattern of church arrangements. So one pattern would be that to be a proper church you must have two services, morning and evening on a Sunday, and an activity for children during the week. This pattern gets into the psyche of the relevant group and the consensus is that others who do not have this structure are not really a fully developed church. In fact, those who structure themselves differently can be somewhat looked down upon.
On the other hand the churches who do not conform to this pattern start to aspire to the accepted pattern and think “we will have made it” when we get to that two services on a Sunday and children’s work in the week arrangement.
But this is all somewhat bizarre! In doing this we have created extra-biblical expectations regarding a presumed biblical pattern which really cannot be justified from Scripture. Accordingly, wrong attitudes and unnecessary pressures can start to develop,
The so-called “non-conforming” church needs to remember that they do not have to do what others do. Others may look down upon us, even pity us as being a substandard church. They might deem that we are only really making progress when we conform to the implicit thinking of the group.
And the “conforming” church needs to remember that they judge everything by scripture and not by some traditional way of operating.
It is revolutionary to church life and a freeing thing when we realise we do not have to do what others do. Others may have house-groups, but they may not be appropriate for us. Others may have a morning service; it may not be appropriate for us. Each church must be what God has called them to be and not what the church down the road expects them to be.