I asked my friends. They answered: I go to worship God; I like the music; I go to learn from the sermon; I go to pray. None of these answers are wrong, but for me, none of them were right.
I gave up on opinions, and went to Scriptures. Hebrews 10:24-25 says And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
From the above Scripture I ascertained that the church is to stimulate one to love and good deeds, and to encourage one another. How can the church possibly do this in one hour on a Sunday morning? Simply put, it can’t.
Alistair Begg said “Although we are brought to God individually, we do not live in Him solitarily...Part of God’s provision for us is in the company of each other.”
I’m now noticing the emphasis is on meeting together. Hmm, didn’t I start by saying the Bible tells us to meet together, but there has to be something more? Where and when do we meet? Some go to Bible study, others get involved in music, or maybe you get involved in a prayer group. Perhaps you prefer maintenance around the church building, or office work, or... There’s far more opportunities to get together than just Sunday morning. For me though, there is another very important and intense form of meeting together, and that is the small group.
Small groups are exactly that: small and personal. They are groups where you can let your hair down and share your innermost thoughts with fellow Christians who will support and encourage you. You laugh together, and you cry together, but when you belong to a small group you are never alone. You are even held accountable if you start to go astray. Good friendships are established. I must emphasize here though that small groups are not a replacement for Sunday worship.
Sunday worship is a time for all of us to come together. We bring our multitude of personalities and talents together, and we come before our creator with reverence and praise. Then we go out into the world encouraged by the teaching of his Word and the corporate prayers and worship, but church should not end here.
We need feeding spiritually on a daily basis throughout the week. You have your own individual needs, likes, and dislikes and will determine your own routines but when you are a part of a small group, there is always someone to spur you on. The particular group I belong to is interdenominational. As I write this I am approximately 1800 miles away from the group, yet someone has been in touch with me every day, and tomorrow we are looking forward to a video phone call during the weekly group meeting. At the meeting we catch up with each other, we study God’s word together, and we share our concerns and prayer requests. We eat and have fun. It’s a celebration of being together with fellow Christians and good friends, and when we go to church on Sunday we join with the larger group of believers. We don’t know them as well, but our common desire to worship God and serve Him unites us into one church
family, with all its parts functioning together.
I urge you to seek out a small group where you feel comfortable enough to share yourself and encourage fellow believers into a relationship with God that produces the love and good deeds that God desires of us.