Assembly Required

The Church Must Assemble To Be The Church

I am not the church; we are the church. Click To Tweet
  • Not an Individual, but a Collective Identity: The declaration “I am not a church; we are a church” underscores the communal identity of the Christian assembly. It emphasizes that the church is not a solitary individual’s experience but a collective gathering of believers.
  • Assembling Defines the Church: A crucial insight emerges— if a church never assembles, it is not a church at all. The very act of meeting is not just a routine; it defines the essence of what a church is (Hebrews 10:25).
  • Worshipping Together: The potency of worshipping together is highlighted in Matthew 18:20, where Jesus affirms His presence when two or three gather in His name.
  • Paul’s Emphasis on Gathering: Paul’s letters consistently direct churches to engage in communal activities that necessitate gathering. These include mutual teaching, admonition, singing, public Scripture reading, mutual encouragement, and sharing the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:18; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 10:24–25).
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  • Believers Added to the Church: Acts 2:41 recounts believers being baptized and added to the church, emphasizing the communal act of inclusion.
  • Daily Additions: Acts 2:47 further reinforces the idea of daily additions to the church, showcasing the continuous nature of communal growth.
  • Persecution of the Church: Acts 12:1 illustrates Herod’s persecution specifically targeting members of the church, underlining the importance of the collective identity even in the face of adversity.
  • Mortality Risk Reduction: Studies from Vanderbilt University show that frequent churchgoers experience a 55% lower all-cause mortality risk than non-churchgoers.
  • Blood Pressure and Divorce Rates: The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine and Harvard University’s Human Flourishing Program reveal lower blood pressure and reduced divorce rates among older adults who are active in religious service attendance.
  • Improved Immune Systems: Research from Duke University Medical Center suggests that regular attendees of religious services have healthier immune systems.
  • Impact of Company: 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns against the corrupting influence of evil company, emphasizing the importance of choosing one’s associations wisely.
  • Connection over Information: Despite living in an age of information abundance, there exists a famine of connection. Proverbs 27:17 highlights the transformative power of relationships, akin to iron sharpening iron.
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  • Not Just a Church with Small Groups: The distinction is clear— the emphasis is not on having small groups but on being a small-group church.
  • Diverse Functions of Small Groups: Small groups provide fellowship, evangelism, learning, ministry, and training, mirroring the multifaceted nature of the early Christian gatherings.
  • Biblical Examples: Drawing from biblical examples, the significance of small groups is evident in Abraham’s leadership, Moses’ administrative organization, and Jesus’ ministry in homes.
A local church is an assembly. If the church never assembles, it is not the church at all. Click To Tweet