Monday, August 29, 2011

Gather the Church

Why do we gather as the church? Yes, we gather to worship our heavenly Father. We gather in biblical small groups to love, encourage, and hold each other accountable. We gather in other ministry environments to walk along side of each other, and we gather to serve together. But the reality is we can gather in all of these environments and not experience spiritual growth or maturity as disciples of Jesus. You or I could be in any or all of these environments and not engage and nothing will happen.

I am training for a race next month. I run three or four times a week. Sometimes I run long distances of 18-20 miles, sometimes I run mostly hills, sometimes I run for speed. All of this is done to prepare myself for my race. No one can train for me. I love it when my friends run with me, but only I can put in the miles. No one would ever think to have someone else do the training for them. And no one would think that they can do no training and then run the race.

It's the same way with our faith journey. We are on a journey to become fully devoted followers of Jesus (See 2 Peter 1:5-9). Hebrews 5:14 says we are to train ourselves, well, more accurately, it says the mature are constantly training themselves. They don't wait for someone else to train them or feed them. They know the responsibility is theirs.

So why do we gather as the church? One of the key reasons is to be equipped so that we can learn how to train ourselves as mature believers (See Ephesians 4:11-13). Are you training or are you expecting someone else to do to it for you?