Is it right to divide an assembly and form another within reach of the existing one?

Is it right to divide an assembly and form another within reach of the existing one?

An army must defend its ground (Ephesians 6:10-18) and advance to new ground (I Thessalonians 1:8). Each assembly has a gospel responsibility to not only see souls saved and added to its fellowship but also to replicate itself in seeing other assemblies formed. Working locally and commending full time workers to preach the gospel accomplishes this.

While a new work may take some from the number of the existing assembly, it should never cause disunity in the assembly. When believers apparently want to see a new assembly planted for their own convenience, or to gain "place," or to avoid being subject to their overseers, they appear willing to "divide the child" to further their own agenda (1 Kings 3:1627). On the other hand, Christians will avoid dissension by not judging others' motives (1 Corinthians 4:5). Workers will avoid dissension by remembering that when God works He unites His people (Isaiah 32:17).

The ideal would be for the entire assembly to unite behind gospel outreach in the region where God has planted the assembly. If God works, it will be evident. If main's hand forces the beginning of a gathering it is evidently not God's planting (1 Corinthians 3:9). If a gathering is a "church of God," God has produced it; it is a testimony where the Lord has placed His name (Deuteronomy 12:5).

Assertiveness may advance a business, but a balance between energetic, scriptural efforts and waiting on God advance God's work. At best, we work together with God (2 Corinthians 6:1).

D. Oliver