And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
According to the one who called the gathering at a Baton Rouge Hotel a few years ago, “There was singing, clapping, preaching, and even an ‘Amen’ or two, but no offering, no prayers, and most importantly, no supernatural presence.” The meeting was called by a former Christian pastor who now says he is an atheist. He asked, “Can we duplicate the benefits that people are used to seeing in a church service, but without the supernatural?”
Now, as sad as we might say that story is because of the lack of faith and authentic commitment to Christ, this man and his congregation of followers provides believers with an important lesson on the importance of gathering with other believers. Even in denouncing faith, they were missing something, and they longed to get that something back. One word describes what they have missed—fellowship!
As believers in Jesus Christ, we must make much of the New Testament instruction to assemble ourselves together for purposes of corporate worship, teaching, prayer, and encouragement. In order for this to be a regular habit in our lives, we must prioritize the regular, public gathering. I never cease to be amazed at the list of things that take priority over the regular assembly. The list is long, and each activity can be easily rationalized. However, as in all things, I have learned that I can always make time for anything that I set as a priority. As a Christian and as a church member, make a fresh commitment to the corporate gathering of your church.