Did you ever buy a bicycle from the store?
If it’s in a box, you know you can’t just pour the parts out on the floor and expect it to make itself into a ride-able bike, right? Of course we don’t expect that to happen. I remember my Dad trying to put together a 10 speed bike for me on my 11th Birthday. There were a boatload of parts and a massive book of assembly instructions. I thought he would never get that bike done, but before I knew it, I was riding like the wind.
Church can be like an un-assembled bicycle
Some folks don’t put much stock in assembling for Church. I’ve heard people give a lot of reasons for not going, like, “I can watch Church on TV,” “I don’t need to go somewhere to meet with God,” “I don’t have to attend Church to be saved,” “I only have one day a week to sleep in,” or “People who go to Church are hypocrites.”
Now, some of that is absolutely true. Even though I had been in Church for many years, because I was involved in leadership, I went to give. My motto was, “Ask not what the Church can do for you, but what you can do for the Church.” For a long time, I didn’t think I needed the people in a Church to grow in Christ.
In recent years I have found my theory to be seriously flawed because as it turns out we absolutely need each other in the Body of Christ! I mean, how healthy would your arm be if it was severed from your body and left some place by itself? Obviously, we know the arm would not survive. So then, the arm dies and the body suffers a handicap because of the separation. Now imagine your body wasn’t
connected to any of its limbs. You would be unable to move. You wouldn’t be dead, but you would certainly be less effective in this world. The Church is a living spiritual body, and we simply can’t survive or be effective without each other. The Bible says that Jesus is the head of The Body, The Church (Colossians 1:18). He gives us our very life and breath. We are alive because we are connected to the head who is Jesus, but we are effective because we are connected to one another.
Location, Location, Location
It’s not an option for the Body of Christ to come together. It is essential. In the first few chapters of the Book of Acts, we see a common theme emerging. The believers saw the Spirit of God fall upon them as they were consistently gathering together in the same physical locations.
Let’s get it together, Church
But just being in the same location is not enough. That would be like throwing the parts of the bicycle into the middle of the floor and expecting them to miraculously put themselves together. In addition to being in the same place, The Body of Christ was also praying fervently with one purpose: to see the reign of God manifested in their midst. But wait, there’s still more. In 1 Corinthians 1:10, Paul is telling the Church that he wants them all to agree. In the Greek, “agree” literally means, “to speak the same thing.” According to this Scripture, it doesn’t look like “agreeing to disagree” is a luxury the Church is afforded (Amos 3:3). Is it possible that this mindset has birthed the many denominations of our day? We see that if we do not agree, or speak the same thing, and have the same purpose then we can not walk together, we will not end up being in the same location, and we will not be praying for the same things. Maybe that’s why we don’t see the Holy Spirit moving today like He did in the Book of Acts. The Church just doesn’t have it together.
Let’s get assembled!
How important is it for us to be in “one place” having “one purpose” saying “one thing?” What does it mean when the Church of Jesus operates this way? God calls it assembly.
“…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
In the Book of Acts, they ate together, studied together, worked together, and prayed together. The more they were together, the more they grew in knowledge of Jesus, in their love for one another, and even in their numbers because those on the outside realized something real was happening on the inside with the followers of Jesus Christ.
Church, if we want to ride like the wind, if we want to be effective for Jesus in this world, we’ll have to take the Church, the Body of Christ, out of the box and start putting ourselves together, because at the end of the day, we are the Church and make no mistake about it, “Assembly is Required.”