Well, we do … but that’s NOT why the New Testament tells us to gather together! Surprised? Then this is for you.
Think about how deeply this is ingrained in our modern Christian culture. Think about how often you hear phrases like these:
- “When we gather to worship, …”
- “The early Christians gathered to worship on the first day of the week.”
- “We are commanded to gather together to worship.”
- “We invite you to our Sunday morning Worship Gathering.”
- “As we gather here to worship …”
What do all of the common? They all imply that the purpose of our gathering together is to, or for, worship.
It’s pretty much taken for granted, isn’t it? We just kind of go, “Oh, yeah. Okay!”, and move on — without ever questioning the legitimacy of what we are doing. After all, it’s in the Bible. Right? How can anything be wrong with it?
Now, here’s the surprise. That’s, actually, not what the New Testament says at all!
There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with it, per se. It’s just that we’ve put so much emphasis on it, that it has sort of become the main thing we do together, the main reason for us coming together — and that’s where the problem lies.
Yes, when we gather we can and do worship. And, that is good. No problem! Yes, worship together is one of the ways we encourage each other. Again, that is good. No problem! So, what exactly is the problem?
The problem is that it hijacks our purpose! When we take something that we do when we gather, and make it the main reason that we gather, then we lose the real reason why we gather together!
In Hebrews 10:25-26, the main passage that is quoted to insist that we are commanded to be in church on Sunday, there is a ‘to’ there. There is a biblically stated, Holy Spirit inspired, very specific reason given as to why we gather together — and it is NOT ‘to worship’. It is ‘to’ something else.
Yes, worship is included … AND a whole lot more!