The third critical aspect to our growth as Christians, is to be part of a regular gathering of the church on Sundays. God’s people gather regularly on a Sunday to worship him. This worship includes singing songs of praise and adoration to him, listening to the preaching of God’s Word, engaging in prayer, and enjoying each other’s company. The Sunday gathering is reflective of the picture of heaven as portrayed by the Apostle John in Revelation 7:9-12, where people from every nation, tribe and tongue gather in front of God’s throne and worship him. When God’s people gather on a Sunday, there is a profoundness to it that is unique. We get to experience the very real and tangible presence of God when we sing to him in worship, hear from him through the preaching, and engage with his people through fellowship. Furthermore, the sheer diversity of people in these gatherings enables God’s people to experience God’s creativity.
The writer to the Hebrews in Hebrews 10:23-25 tells us: “23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…” (ESV). This passage emphasizes the critical nature of God’s people gathering together because it stirs up our faith, encourages us, and inspires us to live out the Christian life amid the challenges and struggles of the world.
The three critical elements of God’s Community, God’s Word, and God’s Gathering are essential for the life, vitality and growth of a Christian. These are the next steps after one becomes a Christian (“Christ-follower”), which will form the necessary rhythms for the rest of our Christian life. There are other elements to our relationship with God that will help to grow and strengthen us, but getting these foundational rhythms in place will set us on the right course, and keep us from wavering over the long haul. When we mature in our faith and become more and more like Jesus, we then become valuable instruments that God can use as he renews the world through his people.
My prayer is that you will continue to grow and mature as a follower of Jesus, enjoy him more each day, and be used greatly by him in the world.
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.