As believers, we have a unique spiritual bond of unity. We worship an invisible God, who is a Spirit. Our meetings should then per definition be spiritual. When the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in 1 Cor 12 and 14, is utilised and everyone participates, it makes for a spiritual meeting, with spiritual things happening. I am not advocating strange manifestations and people getting themselves into a trance or euphoric state. The things of the spirit does not make sense to the natural man. “they are foolishness to him” 1 Cor 2:14 When spiritual people being filled with the Spirit meet together something spiritual ought to take place.
What then, brethren, is [the right course]? When you meet together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a disclosure of special knowledge or information, an utterance in a [strange] tongue, or an interpretation of it. [But] let everything be constructive and edifying and for the good of all. 1 Cor 14:26
Notice how each member has to prepare for the meeting: “het elkeen gewoonlik ‘n bydrae om te lewer” EACH ONE HAS. This means the meetings must have been longer in terms of time, “waiting on another” communion 1 Cor 11:33, it was inclusive of testimonies, prayer 1 Tim 2:1, 8, praying for the sick James 5:13-16, repenting to another 1 Cor 11:27-31. New Testament Christianity is not a spectator event or a one-man-show. Everyone participated.
It is true though that for this to happen the number of people have to be less than 20 to 30 people. But this is only true when allowing for speaking opportunities. According to these abovementioned scriptures, there are many group activities taking place. Western church program (liturgy) is built around the pulpit, and the stage.
The English word, church, comes from the Latin word, meaning circle. Our word, circus, is a derivative of the word, circle. You know, “three ring,” as in a “three ring circus.” Perhaps, very early-on when meetings, or assemblies, convened, they sat in a circle like a “round table;” from that, the word, church was coined. This makes sense as the first church had no formal church buildings or temples, they met in houses. Acts 2:46 The bigger the meeting, it becomes impossible for everyone to speak and participate, yet in house-meetings, one person should not take over the discussion, only lead and facilitate it, so that everyone gets an opportunity to participate.
The scripture in 1 Cor 14:26 in the only scripture in the NT that outlines the program of a NT gathering of believers.
ψαλμός psalmós: A song: the song sung with musical accompaniment. This latest stage of its meaning was adopted in the Sept. In all probability the psalms of Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16.
διδαχή didachḗ: to teach. In an act. sense it means the act of teaching, instructing, tutoring (Mark 4:2; 1 Cor. 14:6, 26; 2 Tim. 4:2). Heb 5:11-6:2 Search and seek “sound doctrine” sound doctrine: 1 Ti 4:6; 2 Ti 4:3; Tit 1:9; 2:1 (cf. Pr 4:2; 1 Ti 6:3; 2 Ti 1:13)
γλῶσσα glṓssa: qualitatively new, to speak languages not known to them before, means to speak in or with tongues other than their own native tongue (Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6; 1 Cor. 12:30; 14:2, 4-6, 13, 18, 23, 27, 39). It is significant than speaking in tongues, and the interpretation of tongues be listed as main ingredients to the NT gathering of believers. As to emphasize its importance. If you thus want to participate, get filled in the Holy Spirit by speaking in Tongues. 1 Cor 14
ἀποκάλυψις apokálupsis: to reveal. Revelation, uncovering, unveiling, disclosure. The revelation of the mysteries refers to divine purposes and doctrines which before were unknown and concealed (Rom. 16:25 [TR]; 1 Cor. 14:6, 26). Of revelations from God the Father or Christ (2 Cor. 12:1, 7; Gal. 1:12; 2:2; Eph. 3:3). In Eph. 1:17 “a spirit of . . . revelation” means a spirit which can fathom and unfold the deep things of God
ἑρμηνεία hermēneía: to interpret. Interpretation, explanation (1 Cor. 14:26), metonym for the ability to interpret, as a charisma (1 Cor. 12:10), gift. Although the word interpretation in this reference refer specifically to the interpretation of tongues, I do propose that most of the activities is a form of interpretation. The word hermeneutic is used by theologians of the science of bible interpretation. Having visions and dreams, and spiritual experiences has to be interpreted and judged. 1 Cor 14:29
All things are actually spiritual by definition, prayer to a God who is an invisible Spirit John 4:26, our unity and bond as believers 1 Cor 12:26, spiritual warfare Eph 6:12. This is why a person operating from a point of religion, sets of rules and liturgy, cannot function in a NT Church meeting of spirit-filled believers. It is two completely different operating systems.
The most important point however one needs to remember is: “let everything be constructive and edifying and for the good of all” For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Mat 18:20 Paul actually says that he is spiritual present although absent in the flesh. 1 Cor 5:3-4 This reveals an unspoken thread, bond, connectedness, seamless robe, with the Spirit of Christ as revealed in His body, Him being the head. Eph 1:22 The simple way is; pick up the thread of the meeting, connect to the flow, listen to each other and resonate, harmonise. If the message you have prepared does not fit, discard it, it is not for now. The most significant enemy to this kind of flow in a meeting is a selfish desire for prominence. All submit to the flow of the Spirit.
Tune in to the Spirit of the meeting, from the first song the worship leader scans the spirit, the dance leaders resonates physically what is being sung, then while we are corporately tuning in, we experience an open heaven of revelation, and spiritual insight. As we begin to declare and share what we have seen and experience the visions become clearer and it grows, so that we can fulfill God’s original plan to be among His people. Heb 12:18-23