I recently visited the church in Houston and attended district 2. While I walked down the hall I noticed a number of rooms labeled district 1-5. I was reminded of a question Gary Schroeder asked me when the church in Austin started meeting in districts. What are districts for?
First of all, what is a district?
A district is a group of believers meeting in a city as the church in that city, usually based on geography. This is beneficial, especially in larger cities, because every member of the church can share their experience of Christ. In a larger congregation it can be much more difficult to speak because there are more people who want to speak and therefore less time. It can also be scary speaking in front of a large audience.
Back to the original question, what are districts for? My original thought was mutuality or joint participation. I then began to consider increase and growth since the church was meeting in more locations around town. I was surprised to hear the answer, dispensing. So what is dispensing and what does dispensing have to do with meeting in districts? This question got answered in district 2 of the church in Houston.
The church was reading through Ephesians. Two verses in chapter 3 caught my eye, verses 18 and 19.
3:18 May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are
3:19 And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
In verse 18 the words apprehend and all the saints jumped out. Apprehend indicates that there is speaking and teaching going on and all the saints indicates that everyone is functioning.
In verse 19 the word filled jumped out. The functioning is for the filling!
I stood up in that meeting and shared that and left feeling filled with peace and joy. The best meetings are the ones where I get to function and share my enjoyment from the Word.