I just finished proof-reading a new book for 9Marks. They would like to launch it in early April. It is about rediscovering church. They are publishing this short book because of a similar observation I have. I feel believers are unfortunately being unchurched due to the regulations. I pray we would be able to give out some copies of this short, yet powerful, book to you.
In one section, the author writes, “Groups of people are powerful, not just for what happens when they gather, but for what that group becomes by gathering.” It struck me anew that God has a purpose in putting the church together. He has put us together to become something. When we gather, we become one body, one community, and one family.
God has always meant for his people to physically gather. That is why he created Adam and Eve, physically, to walk with him and commune with him (Genesis). God then delivered his people out of slavery to gather as a nation to dwell with him and reflect who he is (Exodus). He then brought the nation to the Promised Land to have a place to regularly gather with him and each other as a nation (Deuteronomy 16). The brightest proof of God wanting to gather people to himself is the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He became flesh to dwell with us. God gave Jesus a body. After he died, was buried, rose again, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, he called the church to gather as one body (Ephesians 4).
Now, I know we cannot gather at the moment, and we need to understand that the church doesn’t stop being a church when the people aren’t gathering. But we need to understand that regular gathering is necessary for a church to be a church. When the church gathers, we shape one another. Now how can we shape one another if when cannot meet one another on a Sunday? Well, here are a few ideas I have to offer in light of us pulling together as a community.
First, get involved in a Grace Group. I know that some weeks are easier to attend a Group than others. But give it a go on the weeks that you can attend. Commit to a Group and get to know that part of the body.
Second, get together to pray. I am encouraged that this is already happening. There are a few men that get together very early every Wednesday morning to pray together. There is also a women’s book club that gets together to discuss a book and pray on Wednesday mornings. The time or the day of these are two options might not suit you. But there is no reason that you can’t get together with someone else on a different day and or time. The point is to let us get together and have a meaningful time of sharing our true struggles and pray for one another.
Third, , since we finish our morning service around 10:30 AM, consider having an early lunch with someone or a later afternoon coffee before the evening service and have some good swallowship (a mixture between eating, drinking, and fellowship). You can discuss the sermon or build one another up (Hebrews 10:24).
Fourth, go through the directory, have a look at who you haven’t seen or spoken to in a while, and phone or message them.
Fifth, if you know you work close to another member in the church, get together for lunch and eat, pray, and love one another. Build one another up in love (Ephesians 4:12).
Why am I encouraging the community to get together? I’m writing out of my own experience where I feel I’m getting unchurched. I’m tempted to not appreciate the body as much as I used to because I feel cut off from the body. Perhaps you don’t feel that way. If not, I want to ask you to help this brother and others to feel connected again.
Looking to connect with you,