We live in an age when, increasingly, people are asking the question, “Do we need to gather on Sunday mornings for worship anymore?”
It’s a valid question. After all, isn’t there a plethora of good sermon content online? Aren’t there churches that actually offer online services? And isn’t it possible to read your Bible, pray and perhaps listen/watch/read a sermon at home?
The truth is that you can experience some of what you get at church at home.
You’ll likely find a better message by listening to one of the popular preachers. You might carve out more time to pray by staying at home. And you can even roll up your sleeves and get involved in works of service in your local community rather than going to church. You can even worship and sing in your shower.
Yes, to all of those.
And yet, this kind of attitude really misses the point when it comes to church. At church we do hear a message preached from a pastor. And we do pray and sing and serve.
But that’s not all church is about. There is more than simply what we “get out” of a Sunday morning.
I call it body life. Some call it community. Regardless, you cannot replace that at home.
You cannot get that at a conference. You cannot get that online.
The truth is that God has wired us, created us, for commnity. And when God ordained the Church, calling out a special people for His name, you will notice that God didn’t call a “person”, but called a “people.” Our American Western individualism causes us to skip right over the plural aspect of the Christian faith.
In the Old Testament, God called out a people. In the New Testament, God called out a people. Read the Psalms, notice how often worship is spoken of in a corporate context. Notice how often you find third person plural pronouns. It’s the same in the New Testament. The commands, the calls to worship, the theology. It was delivered to a people, not to a person.
Why is this? Because we grow best in community.