We’ve had a good year here at the HUB. We published almost 120 articles over the course of the year. We’ve covered all sorts of topics, but have mostly focused on our niche…New Testament assembly church practices and principles.
New in 2017, we brought on board a team of about 12 contributors. Each writes every month or two. Which is why you see the same names popping up on a regular basis. Each has a heart for the assemblies in general, while bringing their unique perspective, burdens and gifts to the table.
Of course, assemblyHUB is nothing much without you, our readers. Thanks for reading, sharing and engaging. We’ve had scintillating conversations in the comments and on social media. All in all, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for your support.
And now, in case you missed out the first time around, here is the list of our Top 10 assemblyHUB articles of 2017. In case you were wondering, our top 10 is based solely on the number of reads, not necessarily quality of writing. Check them out, if you haven’t already. (the titles are links)
1.Checking the Pulse of Dying Assemblies by Bernadette Veenstra.
“We can pat ourselves on the back, reminding each other that we are the believing, faithful remnant. It’s the last days, cold hearts, apostates and all that…Or we can examine our hearts and practices, honestly evaluating what we are doing wrong. Because if it truly was working right, people would be flocking to our gatherings. The early church thrived. The numbers mentioned in Acts are thousands, not tens.”
2. An Open Letter to Young Men in the Assemblies by Sherri Jason.
“If you only take one thing away from this encouragement, let it be this: You are my voice. You are the voice of the women sitting in silence. Please lead us in worship. We can sit and pray on our own, but we long to be led by sincere men who just draw our hearts towards the Lord in complete gratitude.”
3. Should We Walk Together with all True Believers? by Dan Kruszelnicki
“We who have believed, have been so willing, sometimes almost excited, to separate from other Christians over issues which, however important, are usually less than the importance You placed on unity. We have been very careful and zealous to divide and maintain disunity, even in the areas where we are agreed, for the sake of small areas where we have disagreed.”
4. Are Traditions Holding Back the Assemblies? by Bernadette Veenstra
“We’d like to think these traditions show our constant devotion to God, but what if instead they indicate ignorance (I don’t know!) and laziness (because of our traditions everyone knows who he is and what God expects him to do!). What if they indicate mediocrity or unspirituality?”
5. The Assemblies-Are All Our Practices Scripturally Prescribed? by Dan Kruszelnicki
“Traditions and practices must be held up to the light of Scripture, and where there is freedom, they may be prayerfully changed if doing so will better serve our congregation and our communities. As we do this, we will doubtless move further on from the form of the original assemblies, but much nearer to their heart.”
6. My Life as a Christian with Bipolar Disorder by Christianne Lowry
“There must be something wrong with my faith. I didn’t believe enough. Didn’t trust enough. I was convinced I could pray it away. I became rigid and legalistic, hoping the structure and rules would bring this awful disease under control.”
7. Considering the Need for Change by Gary McBride
“The issues are things such as music, church clothing, meeting times, attendance, style among others. In assemblies with predominantly older believers and elders, there are often expectations as to how things “are done”. These expectations may have a foundation based on familiarity, preference, or simply the way they think it should be.”
8. Has Attendance Become Equal to Godliness? by Crawford Paul
“Attendance in many assemblies is seen as the premium measuring stick for spirituality or commitment. If you show up you are a good Christian. If you don’t, well you get added to the prayer list. The problem with placing a high priority on church attendance is that it misses some of the main teachings of what the church is in the New Testament. It also places an unhealthy emphasis on the external appearance and activity and not on the heart which is far more important.”
9. I Don’t Like that Music by Shane Johnson
“I think our musical tastes provide the context for us to show Christian grace, patience and love to one another. What I am trying to teach my son is that the assembly is not a place that belongs to our family alone. Within the assembly are many different age groups and many musical tastes, along with tastes in clothing, learning the Bible, prayer styles and many others. That is why we cannot only play or sing the songs that we like to play.”
10. On “Restrictive” Women’s Roles by Bernadette Veenstra
“Reading this story, we’d never assume that this could was a cop out. It wasn’t disparaging or denigrating. Her could maximized all the possibilities of her role, situation and resources. The could wasn’t said with a sigh, focused on limits. It was said with authority, focused on opportunity. This whole story shows what Christ appreciates, values, and sees. He values people and actions that we neglect or marginalize.”
Honorable Mention…My Journey to Radically Update the Lord’s Supper (Format) by Ewduar Parra
“Normally when we don’t see changes happen, our first reaction is to leave the assemblies and move to another church. My goal was to stay, do something, and make the difference.”
Is your favorite article from 2017 on this list? How about the article that convicted you most? What article would you add to this list? Why?
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any other author or an official position of the assemblyHUB team.