Getting together spurs us toward Christ

Written by Shawn Naylor

Down the street from my house is a skateboard park. I’ve noticed that when I find myself there alone, my skateboard sessions are often terrible. I lack inspiration and creativity. My desire to try things is lessened in the absence of others.

I wonder how many of us only do things well when we know that others are watching? I am guilty of this. At some point, I began reflecting on this aspect of myself. Why do I only do things when others apply pressure? Why is it that I only get started when others show up?

While seeking a response from God on this, Colossians 3:13-17 came to mind. This is a passage about being together.

Contrary to the world’s individualistic view that we need to be totally fulfilled on our own, this entire passage centres on advice for interacting with and loving a community.

The underlying assumption is that life is spent together and that unity, peace, and gratitude come as a result of following this advice alongside others. 

Here are four things I found in this passage:

  1. Work through tough issues. When we get together, we can seek forgiveness and talk about issues that need to be surfaced—facing any elephants in the room.
  2. Everyone in the body of Christ is needed. Whether we like it or not, without all these different parts, the whole is dysfunctional. 
  3. Encourage each other and praise God. Collectively building one other up and proclaiming the goodness and greatness of God spiritually and mentally refreshes and repositions us.
  4. Focus on our purpose. We need to teach and admonish one another, reminding each other for whom we’re getting together.

When others show up at the skatepark, something changes in the air. It’s exciting and unexpected. As people arrive with their own styles and abilities, I get to work out different warm-up tricks and give props and high fives when others land tricks—regardless of their difficulty.

How might this relate to the need to get together with other believers corporately? Beyond the good vision of community given in Colossians 3, the plain reasoning can be found in Hebrews 10: 24-27. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together.”

The answer is so clear. Spur each other on! This is why we get together. We get revitalized, repositioned, and recommissioned, much the same way that I gain new energy and creativity when other skaters show up at the skatepark. This is why the Church needs to get together. With God in our midst, we are inspired and encouraged in ways we would not be on our own.