Hebrews 10:25 (HCSB):
...not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Acts 2:42 (HCSB):
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.
Acts 20:7 (ESV):
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.
More than Preaching & Music
Many Christians have no meaningful vision for why the church gathers. We tend to think of Sundays as merely preaching and music.
Church gatherings, as with many spiritual things, have the surface dimension that we see, and then there is stuff that is behind the surface. If all we see is music and sermons and frustrated parents who spent the whole morning just trying to get the kids into clothes and arrive on time, then we have to wonder if it is worth it.
A church gathering is not just a time of listening to a lecture and singing songs that connect us to God. It is meant to be more than that. It is meant to be a formational environment with depth that goes beyond what meets the eye.
It’s not just a sermon. It’s an act of refuting the story imposed upon the people of God six days a week by orienting and reorienting ourselves around the story of grace.
We aren’t just singing songs, but people who are vastly different than one another – mothers and father, young and old, men and women, black and white, rich and poor – are joining their many voices into one voice and declaring something together. We are gathering in a local place to remember that one day, all tribes and tongues will gather together and sing with one voice to Jesus.
We aren’t just coming together to receive spiritual goods and services. We are involved in a rhythm that informs our lives about what we value. It shapes us. It involves us. It reminds us.
Like a Family Meal
It’s not only the content we receive every week that is so formative; it’s the act of being together and making God’s family our priority. It’s similar to a family that gathers every evening for a meal. The value is not just in the food or the specifics of conversation. The act of coming together repeatedly is a demonstration of love and commitment.
It is a formative act to prioritize gathering with the greater church body. It reinforces in us the ultimate importance of what God is doing on the earth.
Where Preference Goes to Die
A Sunday gathering is an experience specifically organized against the idolatry of personal preference. Our participation is good, not just because God says to do it — although that’s reason enough — but because it is abundantly good for us to hear our singular voice be lost in sea of other voices, all singing the same true things about our God. We like the sound of our own voices far too much, and the subtle reminder that we exist, as a community, for God is much needed. Church gatherings, properly understood, take our “selfie” tendencies and redirect the lens of our lives to the God who rightly deserves the focus. We set our preferences aside to come together as one family, marveling in how our differences can be reconciled through the cross of Christ.
Consistently gathering together confronts and stunts our spiritual autonomy and individualism.
Do it Together
We want LifeGroups to make participating in a Sunday Gathering together a weekly rhythm as a way to reinforce the value of coming together as God’s people. It’s a way to see one another, worship together, potentially serve together or go out to eat together afterwards.
Gathering participation is a means of grace into your life. Don’t forfeit it.