Gospel Meeting? What’s That?
A Gospel Meeting, as known to members of the church of Christ, is just a way to name a particular time of preaching. It is most often used in two distinct ways – (1) as an evangelistic opportunity to preach the gospel, the way of salvation, to those needing to hear it, and (2) as a time of Bible consideration to the congregation members, hence the name, Gospel Meeting. Usually, an out-of-town preacher holds the meeting. He gives the sermons. There are often a few songs and prayer; then the preacher starts his sermon.
At the end of the sermon, the preacher offers an invitation to those wanting to respond, these folks may want to repent, or they may want to follow God’s terms of salvation. The church usually sings a gospel hymn while time is given to anyone desiring to respond.
How to respond? The preacher invites people to come forward to speak to him about their spiritual needs. Afterward, prayers are given to those who want to repent their lives. For those wishing to be baptized to wash their sins away, the congregation sings a few songs while the candidate and preacher prepare (by changing clothes, perhaps) for the baptism.
Gospel meetings can last days or just a few days. There’s no set number of days for one, nor is there a set time for them. Each congregation decides on their own the number of days for the meeting, when, and the times for preaching.
The entire town is invited to hear the preaching. The church announces the meeting in the local paper, radio, TV (if possible), flyers, and signs outside the church building. There is an effort to get as many as possible to hear the sermons. Folks from other congregations come to listen and support the gospel effort. Of course, you’re invited! Open invitation! Open to you! Open Bible!