In St Paul’s great metaphor of the church, there are two essential attributes mentioned. The first, that it should be differently gifted, is the more popular. The second, that the body should be interconnected, is often more a matter of presumption than reality. Yet this is the sine qua non which enabled the expansion of the early church and the development of missions throughout the world.
Today because of a number of social factors, including the frequency of people re-locating for the purposes of work, the communitarian nature of the local congregation is not always a treasured reality. In cities and also in smaller localities, those who assemble for worship will resemble a gathering of spectators, more than a meeting of people familiar to each other who share a range of common experiences.
The concomitants for worship and pastoring are considerable. Preaching may lose its prophetic edge lest people stay away, and the nature of worship may veer more in the direction of satisfying the egocentric hedonistic needs of those who gather rather than offering what is worthy to God.