Have you ever thought, heard, or said these words before: "I don't need to go to church on Sundays. I can worship God on my own." This statement is true and untrue. You don't need to go to church to be a Christian, and we should all worship God individually, but... God desires and has graciously ordained that his people live like a family and gather together to know him, serve him, and worship him. So in a very real sense, we all need to gather with others to worship God. Here are a few more reasons why believers should prioritize corporate worship:
4) Corporate worship helps deepen relationships with other brothers and sisters in Christ. God created us to live in a loving relationship with him and other people (thus, the two greatest commandments; see Matthew 22:37-40). God wants us to be close to him and close to one another. Corporate worship helps with both! Building relationships with other Christians is one of the greatest blessings of the Christian life and greatest gifts from God. We should enjoy getting together with others who share the same faith, same hope, same Lord.
5) Corporate worship is the primary place where the Scriptures are read and taught. God has revealed himself to us through the Bible. It is our job to understand what it says and how we should apply its truths to our everyday lives. Jesus said that people should not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from God (Mt. 4:4). God gives the church pastors who labor in knowing and communicating God's Word in order to help his people live for him (2 Tim 2:15). At Redemption Hill, we want to ground everything we do in the Scriptures. In fact, our Community Group discussions center on the sermon from the previous Sunday because we want to meditate on and truly apply the Scriptures. That will keep us from being the kind of people described in James 1:22-24 as "self-deceived."
6) Corporate worship serves as a catalyst for life change. As stated in our mission statement, Redemption Hill exists to glorify God by living out his mission as a community transformed by the gospel. As the Spirit takes the Word and works it into our hearts, God challenges, corrects, teaches, encourages, and renews us to be more like Jesus. But God uses so much more than hearing his Word in a sermon. Life change can happen when we sing praises to God. It can happen when we pray for others. It can happen when we hear a story of God's grace from someone else. It can happen when we confess sin and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. It can happen when we are hurting and we cast our anxieties on God. God changes us from the inside-out, and he often does so in the context of corporate worship.
If you're convinced of the importance of gathering with others to worship God, we would love to see you at our Grand Opening service on April 10th. "Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!" (Psalm 67:4)
For more, see Part 1 of our Worship Together series.