In last month’s newsletter I wrote about the Three C’s of Church Involvement.  Now I would like explore the first “C” (Celebrate) a little more.  When we talk about being a church member who is involved in “celebrating,” corporate worship is what we have in mind.  Private devotional times of reading the Bible, praying, and practicing other spiritual disciplines are extremely important, but they are not meant to take the place of gathering with the entire church for worship.  I once had a church member in a previous church who told me that he could worship God in a deer stand just as easily as he could worship God in a church service, so why did he need to come to church.  My response to him was that the Bible expects us to worship God privately and corporately.  Even in the Old Testament, Israel had certain times in the year when they were to gather together with the entire nation at worship festivals.  In the New Testament, the expectation is the same.  For example, Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us not “to neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some.”  According to this passage we must meet together corporately.  Some might think that as long as they’re a part of a Sunday school class or some other Bible study group, then they are doing all they need to do to gather corporately with other believers.  But this isn’t enough.  The New Testament expects us to gather not just with our Sunday school class or a Bible study group, but with “the whole church.”  For example, the very first church, the church in Jerusalem, was very large but the members regularly gathered together as a whole church for corporate worship (Acts 5:12, for example).  It’s also clear that the members of the church in Corinth gathered together regularly with “the whole church” (Romans 16:23; 1 Corinthians 14:23).  If we want to be a biblical church, and if we want to be a fully involved, healthy church member we should follow the example of the New Testament church and gather with our “whole church” in corporate worship.  Of course, the main time we do that at Calvary is during our Sunday morning worship service.  So, go ahead and worship God in the deer stand, but let’s not forget that being a healthy church member means we’ll celebrate Him with our entire church family as well.

Pastor Grant