“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see theDay drawing near.”

// Hebrews 10:24-25

I was speaking recently at a conference about fostering and building community within our churches. During our discussion I recalled how, as a very new, 17-year-old believer at C3 Church in Sydney, I would attend church every Sunday, leaving feeling encouraged and fired up, only to find myself lagging by mid-week! I was young in my faith and wasn’t yet ready or equipped to ‘feed’ myself, so I began attending youth Connect Group every Wednesday evening, and it was in that place that my faith was built up and made some of my life-long best friends. I am so thankful I was raised in a culture that championed weekly church and small group attendance! I don't believe I would be a Christian leader today had it not been for this.

When we gather together as the Church, something miraculous happens. Jesus says in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” When we gather and worship in unity, His promise is that He will be there too! Committing to be at church and gather with our fellow believers every Sunday and mid-week at Dinner Party (or Connect Group), is the most important decision we can make because, as Hebrews 10 says, it is where we are ‘stirred up’. Often we are too trusting of ourselves! We can have too much faith in our own faith! But, we cannot do this alone. Our faith is stirred up by pouring into those around us, encouraging one another in the faith. Proverbs 11:25 says, “Those who refresh others, will themselves be refreshed.”

A person committed to gathering with fellow believers is a person who sees past his or her own needs, desires, fatigue and busyness, to see that their presence matters to the body as a whole. The act of gathering, of turning up weekly, is an act of brotherly love in and of itself. Let’s be believers who aren’t afraid to commit, who put His House first, who love our fellow brothers and sisters and put them first by being present, by turning up – rain, hail or shine. Let’s be people who are committed to a cause greater than ourselves. Your presence matters! It’s not the same without you!

// Pastor Georgie Kelsey