“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Apostle Paul, Hebrews 10:24-25

I grew up going to church multiple times a week. It seemed like we were always at church. It was just a way of life. Man, church sure has changed a lot over the last 30 years. On one hand, my church family is more involved in my life than ever. The people in my Life Group really know me, and we spend time doing life together outside of church programs. On the other hand, my family spends less time in the church building than the three generations of my family before me. That didn’t really alarm me for a while. In fact, I kind of liked the freedom in my schedule…. but then, 2020 hit. 

When the world shut down, I quickly learned that our faith journeys and overall personal health deeply depend on regular gatherings with like-minded believers. As a Pastor, I found myself regularly coaching and supporting people who were in serious crisis. The overwhelming theme was that they were more alone than ever. Those were a tough couple of years trying compensate for what we were all missing out on while not being able to gather in person for worship. 

I’m so grateful that many of us feel safe returning to in-person worship. However, it’s a sad reality that many people have just gotten out of the habit of attending church in person. I get it; sometimes live stream is just more convenient, but it is not a relational experience. It’s even more alarming that most don’t even realize how much they need a church family until they hit a crisis and find that over the past three years their support system has grown dangerously thin. I am more convinced that this Christian life is meant to be lived in meaningful community. We are generally healthier, happier, and holier when we worship together on a regular basis. 

This article by By Dane Ortlund really helped me understand what we are missing when we choose not to gather with other believers regularly. Check out these “15 Reasons Your Soul Needs Gathered Worship, Not Just a Livestream.”

Author: Lead Pastor, Third Coast, Aaron Brown