A Christ encounter group is an unstructured gathering that meets under the direct guidance and leadership of the living Jesus Christ, creating an environment for spiritual interaction with one another and with Jesus in a loving atmosphere conducive to free, honest, and heart-felt expression. Through the process of mutual love and support, Christ encounter groups train people to be sensitive to and obedient to the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit and increase their awareness of the presence of Jesus.
The group intentionally meets and interacts so that each member may improve his or her ability to hear from God and to share and obey what he hears. Because of the unscripted nature of the group, people are free to express insights, thoughts, needs, Bible verses, prayers, and spiritual gifts as they feel led by the Spirit. Through the uniting of hearts and minds with the living Jesus, much mental, emotional, and spiritual healing takes place in Christ encounter groups.
The first Christ-followers met regularly in informal Christ-encounter groups that they called by the Greek word ekklesia. Over time these groups gradually formalized and developed traditions, human leadership structures, rituals, and routines and became known as churches. Perhaps we need to return to ekklesia — Christ’s galleria displaying God’s glory in and through ordinary people as they show and tell what God has done.
“Let go and let God.”
These are not just nice words to say.
No, they describe Jesus’ ekklesia,
His bringing together groups of His followers,
So that He can personally direct their meetings,
And so they will let go of their
Traditions, programs, ego, and control;
And just be led by the living Jesus instead!