“Someone tell me why actual church attendance is needed. What’s wrong with me watching it on tv, my device, etc? I mean, that’s better than nothing, right?”
Yes. That’s better than nothing.
Most of the time when someone asks the very-common question, “Is going to church all that important?”, the response will include a passage out of Hebrews:
“…let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing…” (10:24-25)
But, if I may offer some biblical insight and unpack this topic a little more…
Jesus was not haphazard about the metaphors he used. And, when describing us, he purposefully used sheep – who, by God’s own design, exist in flocks (community). This is the way they are hard-wired. And it’s the way we are hard-wired.
We are, by human nature, tribal.
There is a reason the apex of punishment within our prison system is isolation.
Biblically – and psychologically – we need one another.
It was Solomon who rightly said,
“Two is better than one. For when one falls the other can lift the other up. But woe to that person who has no one to lift them up.”
For this reason, Satan hates Christian fellowship, and will do everything in his power to prevent it from happening. To keep us isolated. Alone.
When is a sheep most vulnerable? When they’re separated from the flock.
Let’s take this topic one step further.
People can get lost in a crowd (“big church”). But we connect intimately in community (a small group).
I stumbled across the quote below on my Twitter feed. 19th century British preacher, Charles Spurgeon, is one of my favorites. Note his words here as to the vital spiritual nature of community and fellowship within the Body.
“Satan always hates Christian fellowship; it is his policy to keep Christians apart. Anything which can divide saints (Christians) from one another he delights in. Since union is strength, he does his best to promote separation.”
Where do people find community and fellowship?
They find true believers fellowship (koinonia: κοινωνία, cf. Acts 2:42) best in the small group.
That’s where they connect with people on a deeper level.
That’s where they begin to open up and feel safe.
It’s the relationships they make within the context of the small group that keeps them coming back.
Find a church. Find a small group.
We need each other. Faults, failures and all.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick