Many Christian's have been guilty, myself included, of treating church like it's just another thing on the to-do list for the week. A place where you put on your best clothes, your best face, your best self, then get back to your real life.
I realised today that Church is more like a staff meeting. That may have dry connotations for some people, but it depends on what kind of staff meetings you've been to.
For me, as a teacher, staff meetings are the time of every week where you actually get to see everyone in one room together. It's the time when everyone is brought back to the same page, and finds out what is going on in the rest of the school, what is coming up, and where the school is heading. It can be a time of sharing issues and frustrations, or hopefully, successes and lessons learned. It's where teachers remind each other that they are all working under the same banner, towards the same goal, and that they are a team. (At least that's what I think everyone aspires for a staff meeting to be, even if it's not always achieved.)
That's what Church is for Christians. We are team, one body, but during the week we often just pass each other by going about our own lives. And that's ok - we've each got our own roles to play. But church is when we get everyone in the same room together, and remind each other what it is we're working towards. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14. We share successes, struggles and lessons learned. Find out about issues and problems that we can pray for, people we can serve, others we can uplift and encourage, and be challenged, uplifted and encouraged by them in turn. We remind each other of the banner we are living under, and the God we are serving.
And if we let God be the chairperson, we know he's going to run a good meeting! An amazing, supernatural staff meeting, unlike anything on earth.
We have it easy - it's our choice. In some parts of the world Christians meet together any way they can, despite the risk of persecution. I almost envy their understanding of the value of fellowship. Rather than thinking of church as a chore or another tick on the to-do list, think of it as a valuable chance to get everyone on the same page. To worship the God we serve.
And church doesn't necessarily have to take the traditional form, or be segregated by denomination. We are all the body of Christ. Whether your church is 9am every Sunday, or whenever you can meet in a borrowed hall, or three people gathered around a kitchen table, invite God to chair your meeting and He will make sure your needs and His plans are on the agenda.
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25