Gail Graves recently sent me his "Basic Simple Church Discovery Questions". Some of the below are adapted from this document. The rest are just things I have wondered about over the years. If you are willing to shed any light on any of the below, please feel free to jump in!
Where in the Bible does it refer to believers as members of a local church?
Can believers be part of more than one local church at the same time? (eg. a member at FBC-Dallas, Faith Bible Church, and Misión Evangélica Sión all at the same time) Why or why not?
If there really is only One Body of Christ, why do we persist in separating ourselves from one another and clinging to our denominational distinctives?
Why don't we ever hear any sermons on 1 Corinthians 12:28ff "And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues..."?
Related to the above question, why aren't our churches structured according to Paul's order, rather than the way we are structured today with Senior Pastors leading the list? Are pastors even mentioned in the 1 Cor. 12:28 list?
Who are the Ephesian 4:11 apostles, prophets, and evangelists amongst us? Can you name any apostles, prophets, evangelists in your church today? What happened to these folks? Have their roles been absorbed by the pastor-teachers in our midst? If so, is this what the Holy Spirit intended?
Were Paul's epistles written to individual local house churches in Corinth, Ephesus, Thessalonica, etc. or were they written to ALL of the Church in each of these cities (house churches-plural?)
Why doesn't Paul ever address his letters to the pastor or leadership of the churches like we do today when contacting churches?
Where in the Bible do we get the idea that listening to a prepared sermon is an essential part of believers gatherings?
Why do we delay baptizing new believers when every instance recorded in the Book of Acts indicates immediate baptism upon profession of faith?
How small can a church be and still be a church? Does the Bible say anything about how big is too big for a church to be?
What is a church? When does a group become a church? What is the Scriptural support for your answer?
Does a seminary education help or hinder those seeking to multiply new church starts?
What happened to celebrating the Lord's Supper as a meal? When did we begin substituting the Lord's SUPPER (meal) for a tiny cracker and sip of grape juice?
Where do we get the idea of paid/salaried pastors and church staff when 1 Corinthians 9 is clearly referring to itinerant apostolic workers?
Along these same lines where do we get the idea that "double honor" in 1 Timothy 5:17 for elders refers to a monthly salary and benefits package?
Why do we program our gatherings into hour long meetings rather than allowing the Head of the Church (Jesus) to lead and move among us as He desires?