And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Some may say, well, I go gather with Christians for breakfast once a month, or, I go to a home-group. Is that what we are talking about?
“The words, not neglecting to meet together, presumably refer to worship meetings…the Greek word suggests some official assembly.” (Guthrie)
We are talking, then, of the formal, organised, gathering and assembling of the church.
So, a home growth group is good, but not church, and not what we are talking about. It’s a supplement to your diet, not your diet.
Watching sermons from your favourite preacher on YouTube, is good, if they are biblically sound, but it’s not church.
Reading devotionals is good, listening to podcasts is good, but it is not church.
None of those things are going to give you a hug when you are sad.
None of those things are going to help you with your day-to-day life when you need practical help.
None of those things are going to drive to your house when they hear you are having a tough time or have hurt yourself.
None of those things will rearrange their schedules or drop everything to do something for you.
None of those things I’m going to call you up and offer you a word of encouragement spontaneously because the Holy Spirit prompting them to do so.
Church is a special thing, church is a unique thing, church is a holy and sacred thing that we must not neglect to be part of.
We should want to be at everything with everyone all the time.
Practically, you will never be with everyone and at everything all the time…but is that your intention when you have a choice?
Given a choice, do you choose church, the living body of Christ?
Why do I need to go to church?
To fill our hearts with full assurance of faith.
To strengthen our hands to hold fast our confession.
To consider, to think deeply, how to stir one another up to love and good works.
N.T. Wright wrote that every Christian who comes through the door in the place of worship is a real encouragement to everyone else who is there.
And for that reason we need to have the attitude of ‘take me to church’.