Why Gather? It’s a question we all have to answer. In a world where it’s easier than ever to do our own thing, on our schedule, and in our own way, why gather? After all, gathering requires us to give up time in our ever-busy schedule to come together, do things that might be outside of our comfort zones, and even calls us to be around people who could hurt, annoy, or frustrate us.
So, why do it?
Here’s why: God didn’t create us to be alone. In the very fiber of our being, we are created to gather together. Furthermore, when we gather, we experience God in a different way than when we are on our own. Gathering together makes a way for us to go to new and deeper places in our lives, and ultimately with Jesus Christ.
In the book of Acts, we see five incredible results of gathering:
- Miraculous signs and wonders (Acts 2:43)
When we gather, we invite the manifest presence of God to move and transform us, and when God manifests Himself, miraculous signs and wonders are the result!
- Community (Acts 2:44)
When we gather, we start to care for each other. We see needs and we try to meet them. This is what it looks like “to do life together”.
- Great joy (Acts 2:46)
When we gather, we experience moments of great joy that isn’t circumstantial. Joy isn’t the same thing as happiness. Joy can be found in tough times as much as good times because joy is rooted in Jesus Christ.
- Generosity (Acts 2:46)
When we gather, we grow in generosity. We discover that what we have isn’t ours and we have incredible opportunities to make radical generosity a way of life.
- People believe in and follow Jesus (Acts 2:47)
When we gather, God adds more and more people to our gathering. When we gather, we are a part of building the Kingdom of God.
This is why gathering is so important! We gather because God reserves unique encounters for us when we gather together. This doesn’t mean God can’t show up in unique ways for us as individuals, but there are unique experiences reserved for God’s gathered people.
So, if gathering is important, what should we do when we gather? In Acts 2:42, we see four key activities of the gathered church:
- When we gather, we discover more about Jesus. Every time we get together as Jesus’ followers we should learn more about who Jesus is. It might come from studying the Bible, but it can also come from us telling stories of what God is doing in and through us.
- When we gather, we fellowship. Gathering is a chance to connect with the people in the room. It’s not enough to just be in the same space, we have to get to know each other—learn and care about each other’s lives.
- When we gather, we share a meal. Meeting together is a chance to intentionally share a meal. There’s something powerful that happens when we get around a table with other people. In the book of Acts, the church did this through celebrating communion, but also through simply going over to each other’s houses and eating together.
- When we gather, we pray. Whenever we get together, we should intentionally pray with and for each other. It’s one thing to tell someone you’ll pray for them but it’s another thing altogether to actually pray for them.
So where do you go from here? Well, next time you gather, do one of the following:
- Ask someone where they’ve seen God move in the last week.
- Ask someone what they’re excited about in the next week.
- Ask someone to come over to your house for dinner.
- Ask to immediately pray for a request someone shares with you.
God designed His church to gather! When we get together and learn more about Jesus, fellowship, share meals, and pray, we step into essential encounters with God and with His people!