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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

Never miss a thing!

16.09.2021

So what are we meeting for?

For many, online church has been a real help amid the isolation of lockdown. But there’s also a danger that, somewhere in the lockdown months, some of us may have lost the habit of physically meeting together. Picking that habit back up – or developing it for the first time if you came to faith during the pandemic – isn’t necessarily easy.

But if you’re able – it is worth it.

In partnership with Fuelcast, Ken Benjamin, our Director of Church Relationships, explores why meeting together is so important – and why the question isn’t so much ‘what’s in it for me?’ as ‘who else might need me?’

Discuss the video with your small group

If you’re getting used to gathering physically again after the pandemic, why not spend an hour or so walking through these questions with your small group? They’re designed to help you explore the biblical vision of gathered church – and reflect on your own feelings, whether you’re overjoyed or anxious.

The questions largely presume you belong to a church community that has begun to start meeting physically again or is planning to do so in the very near future, but we do recognise this won’t be the case for all. If some of these questions don’t quite fit your situation, try to take the heart of the question and apply it to yourself and your church community in a way that does fit.

 

Discussion questions
  • During the time your church wasn’t gathering physically, what did you miss?
  • If you’re returning to meeting physically, are there any new attitudes or perspectives you want to take with you into those services?
  • Is there anyone who hasn’t returned to the gatherings (for whatever reason) who God is calling you to stay connected with?
  • If you’re not able to attend in-person services, what will help you stay connected to your church community over the coming months?

In the 1st century AD, the author of Hebrews felt the need to exhort people to ‘not give up meeting together’. In the 18th century, John Wesley felt the need to write that ‘the Bible knows nothing of solitary religion’.

  • Why do you think Christians in general (and maybe even you in particular) get out of the habit of meeting with other Christians?

Look at Hebrews 10:24-25. The author gives us some reasons why Christians should meet regularly with one another.

  • What reasons does the author give?
  • Is there anything you think God might be saying to you personally through these verse?
  • In the video, Ken lists some additional reasons for meeting together (summarised below). Do any particularly resonate with you? Can you list any additional reasons?

We are meeting…

– Because there is instruction, assumption, and pattern in the Bible to do so

– Because when we gather it’s more than just the sum of the parts

– To glorify and edify – to bring glory to God and to build each other up

– Not to get ‘what’s in it for me’, but because ‘others might need me’

– For those who need rest and healing and hope

– To recalibrate. To get back a godly perspective when so many things don’t give it

Towards the end of the video, Ken draws our attention to the encouragement to ‘spur one another on towards love and good deeds’. The love and good deeds envisaged here are not just about what we do when we are together in church services, but what we do in our everyday lives as well.

  • To what extent is it natural for you to encourage others in this way?
  • How might you be more intentional at spurring others on ‘towards love and good deeds’ in their daily lives?

As you wrap up your discussions, take some time to pray into the things you’ve shared. Give thanks to God for the gift of one another. And pray for your church community in this transitional moment, that God will bring growth, strength, and wisdom.

 


 

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