I will never forget the moment my nephew reminded me about a very simple truth of the Bible. Of course, it was a truth I very well already knew (and was reminded of constantly by my brother-in-law), but it was memorable all the same. Driving in the car while on vacation, I mentioned something about missing church that weekend. My nephew, who was only about five or six at the time, was extremely quick to jump in and tell me, “We don’t go to church; we are the church.” His father (my brother-in-law) taught him well! It made me laugh then and still does now when I think about it, but it really is a truth that is so easily forgetten. We do not just go to church; we are the Church. If you are a born again follower of Jesus Christ, you are a member of the body of Christ. That is an awesome concept! Often times, people get caught up focusing on the building, denomination, program, or worship style, and lose sight of why we gather together. The body of Christ has been gathering together since the Church was established thousands of years ago, as seen in the book of Acts.
The writer of Hebrews reminds us of the importance of gathering together when he tells us to “stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Though our gatherings may look a little different than they did back in Israel in the first century, the reasoning behind it stays the same. Going to church does not in any way make you a Christian, but a true follower of Christ should desire to be regularly gathering with their brothers and sisters in Christ. It is here where we can encourage others and be encouraged. Aside from the fellowship, we gather so we can corporately worship God and be taught the truth from His Word. As a child who attended church on a weekly basis, I remember oftentimes wishing I could skip and just sleep a little longer. As an adult, even though I am far more tired and sleep-deprived than I was as a kid, I cannot wait for the weekends when I get to come and gather with my brothers and sisters in Christ!