By Pastor Nick Nye, Lead Pastor of Veritas Community Church
Originally posted by Pastor Nick Nye on his blog – nicknye.com
There are a lot of reasons some Christians have given up gathering as the church. You might have some really good reasons, but chances are you are your reasons are not good for you. Though it is subtle, in the gospel of Luke we see a very profound statement by Jesus that we all need to hear,
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day…” Luke 4:16
It was Jesus custom to go to synagogue on the Sabbath day. The scriptures oozes a reality that participation by gathering with the saints regularly was not optional. (See Hebrews 10:25; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 14-23, 27 Ephesians 4:2; 1 Peter 4:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; James 5:16) Going to church is more than plopping down in a seat to listen to a sermon and sing a few songs—it’s about participating in God’s Kingdom, as God’s kids. Gathering together every Sunday is supposed to be a time to pray for one another, show hospitality, serve the poor, break bread in remembrance of Jesus Christ, be generous in our finances, rejoicing over new salvations, baptizing and on much more!
In today’s time we do not need ‘to go to church’ for many reasons. Though there are a few typical reasons we might skip gatherings like business, lack of priority or even the old- “I just need to sleep in” excuse, one big reason we think we don’t need to gather is because we don’t need the church to be a Christian. With podcasts of the best preachers in the world, mp3’s of the best worship music in the world- why not just take a walk in the woods, enjoy the beautiful outdoors listening to the latest sermon by Pastor Popular and maybe sing a long to Faux-Hawk Worship Bro…that seems more heavenly than holding up in a crowded dingy warehouse like Veritas Short North gathers in, having awkward conversations, smelling the many homeless sitting next to you and drinking mass produced coffee.
Not too long ago I had the privilege of getting to peer into a window of the persecuted church overseas. One of their leaders spoke about how they cannot meet together anymore because the persecution has become so great that they can only do one-on-one meetings. Through tears, this church leader morned the reality they cannot gather together for community. Yet, I come back to the States and experience so many people who refuse to gather simply because they can. We need a little perspective!
Jesus gathered, the entire bible is written to a real local church community that gathered together regularly and the call is simple—stop skipping church. Gathering with God’s people is a privilege we should cherish and a reflection of the gospel itself. We get to exemplify unity, rejoice in humility and serve out in hospitality.