Despite the upheaval of the Reformation, the need for the people of God to gather regularly was never questioned, even by those seeking the most drastic changes to late medieval piety. Here, the importance of church meetings is attested by Austrian Radical elder Leupold Scharnschlager (d. 1563), who argues that the community should come together regularly despite any obstacles, even persecution.

Christians Must Meet Regularly

Because manifold deceptions are everywhere making inroads, it is necessary for the called, committed, and obligated members of Christ’s body, wherever they may be in the world or in distress, insofar as it is possible, should not neglect the assembly. Wherever and however they may, according to the place and the persecutions, they should gather together for the sake of their love for Christ, be their number small or great, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 15, 20, more or less. Such meetings should take place with wisdom, modesty, reason, discipline, friendliness, and quiet demeanor, especially since we see the day of the Lord drawing near.

Congregational Order; drawing on Heb 10:24-25.

Hebrews, James, ed. Ronald K. Rittgers. Reformation Commentary on Scripture, NT vol. XIII, p. 144.

RCS Series: Marks of the Church


Johanes Brenz | Preaching the Word

John Jewel | Administering the Sacraments

William Greenhill | Preserving Sound Doctrine

Martin Bucer | Exercising Discipline

Leupold Scharnschlager | The Gathering of the Church

Wolfgang Musculus | The Nurture of the Church

Johann Spangenberg | The Structure of the Church

John Donne | The Mission of the Church