It’s Good to Gather Together

Sir Isaac Newton tells us that for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. When it comes to trends and fads in Christian circles, we might restate his law this way: “For every action, there’s an equal and opposite action…followed by an even bigger overreaction.” I’m fearful we see this when it comes to highlighting the importance of life together as a local body of believers. For years, gathering together to worship was a centerpiece of Christian expression. Then, it became so much a part of the culture that Christian worship sort of lost the Christian part. While genuine believers gathered to worship and encourage one another, many others just joined in because it was expected of them culturally. Today, we tend to see a revolt against such cultural Christianity…not only by the culture, but also by the church. The culture no longer feels compelled to worship. The social pressure to be a part of such gatherings is no longer there. And, that might be a good thing. But sadly, many believers have followed suit. Studies tell us that the leading cause of decreasing church attendance is the inconsistency of members. And more and more, I’m hearing believers encourage other believers to do something other than gather together for worship and encouragement. Some say it’s more meaningful to stay home and have devotions as a family. Some suggest that it’s more evangelistic to take a neighbor to breakfast or to a ball game on Sundays. Yet others say that it’s more mission minded to engage in a mission project instead of gathering to worship. Meaningful devotions, evangelism, and missions are all vital to to work of Christianity. It’s all kingdom business and it’s good stuff. But, it’s not wrong or inferior to gather together as a local assembly to worship, equip, and encourage one another. Granted, “going to church” cannot be the sum total of our Christian expression. If it is, there is a problem with our Christian expression. But, gathering together is a good and worthwhile thing to do. More than that, it is a biblical thing to do. Don’t over react to those who have too highly valued attending church by embracing the attitudes of those who value it too lowly.


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