Gathering

from our writer in residence (almost) Geoff Tittyung…
 

For many, gathering together is the most recognizable element of church involvement. After all, attendance is the most visible sign of association. However, mere proximity is not the extent of community that the Lord intended when He established the Church. While there are certainly social benefits to the church community, these are not the totality of God’s vision for us.

 

To press on with the metaphor Paul presents in Scripture, it is not only for personal expediency that the ‘organs’ of the church body come together. Rather, all of the body’s organs work together for a single purpose. In the case of the Church, those purposes are growing in the likeness of Christ and going out into the world as His witnesses.

 

Gathering together purposefully for those aims is the natural prerequisite. We can do neither alone. Nor were we meant to.

 

What this vision of the Church requires of us is purposeful engagement. This means (especially for those inclined toward introversion) a deliberate and conscious effort to both attend and build relationships with other believers. The earliest Christians called each other brothers and sisters in Christ, and family we are. Perhaps we are even deeper than family if we live out our purposes by being united in love and united in our shared mission as witnesses of Jesus.

 

Gathering together means more than simply being in the same place at the same time. It means sinking deep into the notion that we are more than acquaintances but co-laborers and siblings. It also means living out the love of Christ in relationships by bearing each other’s burdens, encouraging each other, confessing to each other, and speaking the gospel to one another. This happens not only in a Sunday service but as we meet in one another’s homes, sit around campfires, babysit someone’s children, go for a hike together, or sit together at the lunch table at school. If we are intentional, Church happens at all  these times for wherever we are gathered together for His purposes, His Spirit is with us.

Leave a Reply