I could call it a phenomenon… but it isn’t. Corporate worship is natural. We were made to do it. What is unnatural is for someone to say, “I don’t need to go to church to worship God,” or, “I don’t want to go to church to worship with others.” That is unnatural because it goes against our nature. This is especially true of redeemed believers. People who worship false gods have rituals and a desire to worship in the context of community. How much moreso should they who know the truth and have come to know the One who actually created them with that specific need and desire.
Ask 10 Christians why they go to church on Sunday and you will likely get 25 different answers, ranging from the music, to the preaching, to the children’s department, to getting ‘refueled’ for the week. But God did not give us the desire and need for corporate worship so we could get fueled up… but rather so we could empty ourselves of ourselves in giving our adoration to God. Corporate worship is not for us. It is for Him. Surely we reap the rewards of faithful worship. But going to church should not primarily be done as an act of self-fulfillment no matter how pure the motives.
Corporate worship is as natural and necessary as breathing. Look at what the Psalmist says…
“Hallelujah! Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of the godly.
Let Israel celebrate its Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with tambourine and lyre.
For Yahweh takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with salvation.
Let the godly celebrate in triumphal glory; let them shout for joy on their beds.” (Psalm 149:1-5)
God created us to be in community, and He created us to worship. I believe He created us so that the merging of worship and community would be as fulfilling for us as it is honoring to Him.
When you worship with others, enjoy the fellowship, the Word, the music, the gifts. But never enjoy all of these things without celebrating the One who makes it all possible. He is the reason we are alive, the reason we thrive, and the reason we drive… to worship with others who have been given eternal life.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.