Unique to churches of Christ. I wasn’t always a member of the church of Christ. I didn’t investigate the church until I was in my twenties. I was familiar with several other religious groups, and I’d heard the term “Revival” before. I attended several of those. However, when I became a member of the Lord’s church, I heard the term “Gospel Meeting.” In all the years since, only the church of Christ has used the words, “Gospel Meeting.”
What are Gospel Meetings? A Gospel Meeting is precisely that – it’s a meeting about the good news (gospel) of Jesus Christ. Congregations of the Lord’s church set their own calendars for them. Some like a week-long meeting, others like a Sunday through Wednesday format, and others like a weekend meeting – Friday through Sunday. There are meetings in the fall and spring, sometimes in the summer. However, it makes no difference when; each congregation determines that. Gospel Meetings can be any number of days, and it doesn’t make any difference in the start times. Each congregation is autonomous and so can set its own schedule.
Invited preachers almost always give gospel Meetings sermons. Elders of a church get together, decide whom they want to preach at the meeting and ask him to hold it. Most preachers I know always say yes unless something big is on their schedule. There’s room for scheduling issues.
Sermons about salvation, the church, the kingdom, hell, heaven, Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit, are often the topics. Sermons convey the need for salvation, or “staying the course.” Gospel Meeting sermons are always given by the Book, the Bible. There are no outside creeds or manuals. All the sermons reflect God’s word, 2 Timothy 3:16.
What are the goals of Gospel Meetings? Edification is one goal of the meeting. Each member of the Lord’s body needs spiritual nourishment to mature in the faith, Ephesians 4:12-13. The only way to do that is to study the Bible, 2 Timothy 2:15. Preaches afford that opportunity.
Too, there is always the need to keep a church on its godly course. We want churches to abide by the Bible and the Bible only. It’s the only authority we have from God regarding belief and practice. God’s message of salvation is in the Bible, Romans 1:16.
And salvation, we want Christians to correct their lives. Living for the world leads one to hell but living righteously leads to heaven. So, if a Christian has been unfaithful to Jesus, we want that person restored. Then again, we want everyone to hear the gospel message and come to Jesus for salvation, including baptism for the remission of sins, Mark 16:16 – if one believes and is baptized, he shall be saved. Peter said, after baptism for the forgiveness of sins, our sins are forgiven.
Should I attend Gospel Meetings? Yes! You should attend if you want to build your faith and trust in Christ Jesus, Proverbs 3:5-6. If you’re not a member of the Lord’s church, you should attend, Romans 6:3-5. You should attend if you’re “out of duty” with Jesus and ask for prayers of the brethren to help you, Hebrews 6:4-6 (stop denigrating the Lord). You should attend to promote the efforts of the church, Acts 2:42. Many people from other churches attend just for that purpose. Of course, everyone should attend to grow their knowledge of the Scriptures, Hebrews 5:13-14.