As church attendance numbers fade across the nation and online services become very convenient, it’s important to remember why church attendance for you and your family matters so much. You can’t serve from your sofa. You can’t have community of faith on your sofa. You can’t experience the power of a room full of believers worshipping together on your sofa.
Christians aren’t consumers. We are contributors. We don’t watch. We engage. We give. We sacrifice. We encourage. We pray by laying hands on the hurting. We “do life” together.
The scripture speaks loud and clear: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NKJV). The church needs you. And you need the church.
The pattern of corporate worship in the life of Jesus is well established in scripture: “As His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day “ (Luke 4:16, NKJV).
Could not the words of Jesus to the Church at Ephesus (Revelation 2:4-5) apply to our situation today? The Lord complimented the Church on the things they were doing well, but then said, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”
Despite all the good in the Ephesian church, there was something seriously wrong. They had left – not lost – their first love. They once had a love that they didn’t have anymore. This can be described as a definite and sad departure. The distinction between leaving and losing is important. Something can be lost quite by accident, but leaving is a deliberate act, though it may not happen suddenly. Also, when we lose something we don’t know where to find it; but when we leave something, we know where to find it.
Believers, when able, need to be in church. There are certainly physical disabilities and other extenuating circumstances that may not allow in-person attendance. But it is a spiritual imperative, both for the body of believers and individuals, that we come together for worship and fellowship when possible.
“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some”
~ Brother Roy
So very true. Satan used the pandemic to do a lot of damage to the church.