We live in a day and time where church isn’t always a priority for believers. There are many reasons why this could be: for some, it might be the busy-ness of life; for some, it’s not a high priority; and for others, it’s the belief that they can experience church without actually going to church.
Regardless of the reason, it’s important to remember that the Bible tells us we should be gathering together as followers of Jesus. Hebrews 10 reminds us that we shouldn’t neglect meeting together, because we’re called to come alongside one another and encourage each other.
I think sometimes we forget the role of the Church and see “church” as just a place to worship and hear God’s Word. These are actually things we CAN do without going to church, especially in today’s world. We have access to some of the greatest worship services and messages on our phones, tablets, and TVs.
But church is so much more than worship music and messages. The Church is the body of Christ. And going to church helps us connect with other parts of the body. I say it every week in our service: we were created for relationship with others. God never intended for us to live our lives in isolation. We were created to live as one body, in communion and unity with others.
In Romans 12 we read: The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? -Romans 12:5 (The Message)
We can’t grow spiritually the way God intended if we’re disconnected from the body of Christ. As this scripture references, if we were to cut off our fingers, they would become useless. They have to be connected to the body in order to function the way they’re supposed to. In the same way, we need each other—as the body of Christ—if we want to grow spiritually and fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.
The California Department of Mental Health shared a study that discovered that those who isolate themselves from others are four times more likely to suffer from emotional burnout, five times more likely to experience clinical depression and ten times more likely to be hospitalized for an emotional or mental disorder.
We may live in a fallen, broken world, but God has called us to be light in this dark place. And that light can only be seen when we come out of isolation and connect with others. As the Church, we need to realize that we are better together.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Lord, help us be the Church that you have called us to be!