"...let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25)
When God created humans, he declared that it wasn't good for them to be alone. We need community. Not only do we need community to thrive in our humanity; we need it to thrive as apprentices of Jesus.
Many people have decided that they can have a relationship with God without attending a local church. While God's presence is not limited to a building we attend once in while, his desire for us is to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. The Bible calls us "the body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12). Like individual body parts can't survive apart from the whole body, our relationship with God can't thrive apart from the church community.
Jesus modelled for us a regular practice of gathering with other believers for corporate worship, prayer, the reading of God's word and encourangement (Luke 4:16). For modern believers, this means getting connect and committed to a Christian community that gathers regularly and intentionally.
As you develop your own rhythm of gathering, consider the following practical steps:
1. Be committed. Find a local church and make a committment to participate. If you're looking for a perfect church, you won't find one. Look for one where you can picture yourself getting involved. Then stick with it!
2. Be intentional. Participation in Christian community requires intention. Decide beforehand how often you'll committ to attending services and events. Be willing to miss out on other opportunities to maintain your committment to your church. Otherwise church will become the thing you go to as long as nothing else comes up.
3. Get invested. Attendance is one thing. Investment is another. When you merely attend, it's easy to get critical of weaknesses. When you invest your energy and resources to participate, serve and lead in the church, you're more willing to forgive weaknesses and be a part of solutions to make the church even better.
The following sermons and sermon series' are all about the practice of Gathering. Listen to them for further teaching and advice.
This sermon examined the Biblical practice of gathering, and looked at practical ways to intentionally develop new rhythms of gathering through the COVID-19 season.