Why should we give our Sunday morning’s to attend church?
Worship is part of our gathering every single Sunday morning. So obviously this is an answer. But do we really need to worship with others?
Before we answer that we need to define worship. I won’t spend a long time on defining worship right now. But a functional definition is “being in active awe of God.”
Can we worship alone if this is the definition? Yes. Yes. Yes.
Of course we can. And we should. Most of our problems would probably cease to exist (including church problems) if we spent more time personally in worship. Allow me to suggest a couple of books to help in this journey: Practicing the Presence, Letters of a modern mystic, Present Perfect
So do we need to worship with others then? Yes.
It is a different experience
Worshiping alone and worshipping with others affects us differently.
We know that when we do something as a group it does something different to us then when we do it alone. For example I really enjoy U2’s music. But there is a difference between listening to a CD and attending their concert. I love listening to their CDs. I also love standing with 50,000 people watching U2 live. The concert is better (personal opinion). I say this even though when I saw them I was cold, tired, hungry, had stood in line for an entire day, was squished, paid too much money, had drunk people near me acting like drunk people and the music quality wasn’t even as good as my CDs. But it was an experience. An experience that I will never get by myself. Or consider sports. Why is it so much fun to be at a sporting event? Or if you watch it on TV it is better with some friends? Even people who are not into sports get into sports if they are with others.
It is the same with worship. Yes, worship alone but it is radically different worshiping with others.
It is amazing:
To be near someone who is the midst of a battle with caner, who knows they may lose this battle, and worship with them. Their worship strengthens me. And possibly my worship strengthens them.Or to be in a crowd that raises their voice in unison to the glory of God.Or to kneel as a community in awe of God.Or to pray with and for others.Or taking communion with people I do know and people I do not know. But we are together as one family because of Jesus.
These are a few of the experiences that I can never have alone. Experiences that I need, often.
Do we really need to worship with others just because it gives us a different experience? Yes. That is if you want to experience to fullness of God, and the full wonder of worshipping him.