There are many scriptures that point to the importance of the gathering of believers.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Act 2:42-47 (NIV)
The Church is described as a body with many parts, and what we know is that a body part can’t stand alone and still function. In the same way, as believers we cannot live in everything God has for us if we are separate from the body. In Acts 2 (one of the most direct scriptures pointing us all to “the gathering”), we see three elements of the gathering for believers: the Cost of the Gathering, the Fruits of the Gathering, and the Growth of the Gathering.
1. The Cost
We are called to gather with other believers, and that comes with a cost. What we see is a selling of possessions and property, distribution of money or goods to those in need, and much more. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to sell your house right now and move into My City HQ, but there is a cost for us all. What is that cost? It’s to allow God to move through you every day, and to desire His will more than your own desires. The power of the gathering is not found in how many people show up on a Sunday. The power of the church is found when you realize that YOU are the church, and when you gather with other believers and watch God do the miraculous through you and your church as a whole.
2. The Fruits
As stated above, you may be able to survive for a season, but a believer will not thrive when disconnected from the body. But when connected to the body, there are many functions that will help you thrive. As we look at the gathering in this passage, we see that they met together at the temple DAILY. One of the fruits of the gathering is ACCOUNTABILITY. We all know our human tendencies and how often we intend to do one thing, but then do the other. But when we have accountability, it helps us stick to our convictions. Another fruit is the way they provided for one another when one was in need. We are called to look at the gifts and blessings God has given us and be generous with them. We also know that when we are in need, we will have brothers and sisters on our right and left to walk with us and take care of us. The final fruit sounds simple but is so powerful: they had REAL friends. I hate being lonely. I hate navigating my life alone. But in the gathering - we do life together. We laugh a lot, we cry together, we build each other up, eat together, and even bicker sometimes. But we are a family unit that the gates of hell cannot stand against.
3. The Growth
As Luke writes in verse 47: “Every day the Lord added to those who were being saved.” When you are planted in the House of the Lord, you flourish. And as we practically make room for the gathering, we see so many different fruits come from the seeds we’ve planted. But we are not called to keep it to ourselves. There are people inside our church who need to take their next step and get involved. There are people in your world who don’t know Jesus and don’t know about the gathering they are called to be a part of. What I’m believing for and praying for is that our gathering (My City Church) grows significantly this year because we all pay the cost to get involved, we watch fruit come of it, and we show the world what Kingdom living looks like.
Lord, we pray that you would help us see how to let you move in our lives even more than you are now as individuals and as the gathering. We pray that you would add to our numbers daily this year and people would experience the fruits of the Kingdom of God as they continue to be used by you. Amen.
Check out the podcast below!
Are you searching for a Christian church in Omaha Nebraska? Our hope is that we could be the home you have been looking for! To learn more about our Omaha church services click here.