Terry R. Baughman
“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
As summer draws long and we start looking forward to the cooler days of autumn we begin to prepare for a changing season. For many families this includes school schedules and all the related events. A new routine is fashioned with time for meals and sleep schedules are adjusted to fit the changing itinerary.
This time of year is also a great time to return to a consistent worship schedule. After vacations, summer travels, and many other disruptions to our routine it is a most welcome time of the year to reestablish order and consistency to our daily lives. In all the reordering of activity be sure to include weekly church attendance.
There are several reasons to make church attendance a high priority in your schedule. It is vital to your spiritual development. We cannot survive without it. We need the fellowship of others who are also on this spiritual journey with Christ. Not only are we encouraged when we assemble together, but we are also a blessing to others. God will use us to encourage another believer who may need our prayer and our concern.
The early church in the Book of Acts gives insight to the value of believers being assembled together consistently. There are four specific passages:
- Believers received instruction when they met with Jesus after His resurrection, “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me’” (Acts 1:4). Teaching and instruction are given when we come to church. It is an atmosphere where we my grow in our understanding of God’s Word and we find direction for life.
- There is power in the community of prayer, “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). Great spiritual demonstration results from coming together for prayer and ministry. In times of corporate worship the gift of the Holy Spirit is often poured out on willing believers.
- Discipleship is taught and faith is strengthened when believers come together to learn from others. Paul was brought to Antioch where he received encouragement and share his knowledge of Scripture with many others. Christians were first identify as such in this community of discipleship, “So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).
- The outgrowth of discipleship in community is the fulfillment of the commission. The early church came together in unity, found solutions to divisive issues, and sought ways to facilitate the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people. “It seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:25-26).
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).