As a church, we seek to be the church by gathering corporately on Sundays, and by gathering in LifeGroups in each other’s homes. We do this to follow the biblical model of the early church seen in Acts 2:42-47. For a long time, we have correctly emphasized the need for Jesus-centered community through small groups, in some part to fight the ever-popular “Sunday-only” mentality about church in our culture. We have not spent as much time explaining the biblical reasons for our Sunday worship gatherings. Sunday gatherings are both important and incomplete. So, here are 5 reasons Sunday gatherings are incomplete. To find out why Sunday gatherings are important, read part one.
- More difficult to consistently show our love for one another. In John 13:34-35, Jesus tells His disciples to love each other the way that He has loved them. Then He tells them that people will know that they are His disciples if they have love one for another. If showing up on Sundays is our only church experience, we won’t have the opportunity to really love each other the way Jesus loved us. Additionally, outsiders won’t be as able to see His love at work in us.
- Easy to just “sit and watch” If we only attend corporate gatherings, there is often no one to encourage and/or rebuke us if we aren’t applying God’s Word to our lives and repenting of sin. This form of accountability is much easier to do when God’s Word is being taught and discussed in a small group format.
- Easy to hide If we're honest, there’s a part of us that doesn’t want people to see the sin in our lives even though it is beneficial. If we only attend corporate gatherings, it is very easy for us to show up, sing, and hear a sermon without every being transparent with others about what’s really going on in our lives.
- Lack of relationships Often in corporate gatherings, it is extremely difficult to build relationships that are deeper than the surface. In order for us to live out our identity as family, we should pursue deep meaningful relationships with our brothers and sisters.
- Easy to hear the gospel, but harder to experience its effect. Only attending corporate gatherings keeps us from experiencing and displaying the gospel in the most tangible ways in our relationships. For example, we can experience the gospel in a real way when our LifeGroup family keeps forgiving us because of Christ after we‘ve sinned against them multiple times. This often puts the gospel in perspective in a way that hearing the gospel does not.