Is allowing 5 to 15 minutes For ministry after the Breaking of Bread merely tradition?

Is allowing 5 to 15 minutes For ministry after the Breaking of Bread merely tradition?

No, expecting ministry at the Breaking of Bread is scriptural. In Acts 20:7, Paul ministered the Word in conjunction with the Breaking of Bread. The gathering described in 1 Corinthians 14 included both the Breaking of Bread (compare verse 16 with 10:16) and ministry "to edification, and exhortation, and comfort" (vv. 3, 24, 26). Timothy was to give attention to the public reading of Scripture (1 Timothy 4:13). In the Thessalonians’ gatherings (1 Thessalonians 5:19 - 21), the Spirit prompted men to speak from God. The believers were to value this, evaluate what was said (see 1 Corinthians 14:29), and treasure what was profitable. We do not have prophets (1 Corinthians 13:9, 10), but we do have the Scriptures for our profit (2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:7). Believers should therefore expect to receive profit from the opening of the Word at every assembly meeting, including the Breaking of Bread.

Prior to partaking of the bread and cup, if the Scriptures are opened, they should contribute to remembering the Lord. An exposition of a passage would be as out of place here as various men reading miscellaneous passages such as psalms exhorting us to praise despite our troubles. Heart response to Christ should characterize this gathering; Spirit-guided ministry will promote this.

When the assembly has remembered the Lord, the fragrance of their worship will set the tone for any ministry to follow. The only weekly ministry some believers hear is at the Breaking of Bread. For that reason, special concern should be given to provide profitable ministry then. If just "5 to 15 minutes for ministry" has become the norm in places, this ought to be changed for the profit of all.

D. Oliver