It’s a shame so many Christians talk about church attendance as a drudging obligation, like brushing your teeth before bed. Yes, of course attendance is necessary for the life of discipleship. But is that as far as we go: “Attend the assembly every Sunday and Wednesday or attend hell for eternity”? If we never learn the joy of assembling together, we miss out on refreshing food and drink for the soul.
Being part of the assembly is important for two reasons. First, we gather to worship. In worship, we first and foremost glorify God. And in the process we ourselves are built up through fulfilling the highest purpose for which we are created. There is no higher win-win situation than worshiping the Lord. Second, we gather for fellowship. In fellowship we encourage, support, correct, instruct, mentor, and generally build up one another. That’s win-win, too.
In worship and fellowship Christians learn something vital: how to live as children of God. Studying the Word of God on our own is important for growing in Christian maturity. Only God’s Word, after all, can really change our hearts. But some lessons we learn only through worship and fellowship with one another. That’s because when two or three are gathered together in the name of Jesus, he's there with us too.
(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley