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Do not give up meeting together - reasons why
, and how it can work

Hebrews 10:25 commands Christians to 'not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing'.

Sometimes, it just quoted like that and used as some sort of arbitrary phrase to get people to go to services or other church events.

However, the verses immediately around this statement give significant reasons for gathering. They are that we may spur one another on to love and good deeds (v24) and encourage one another (v25).

But how can that work in practice in ways that aren't just platitudes?  This week, I was privileged to to gather with 120 other people for the first Melbourne 3dm Learning Community immersion (4 day conference).  As this group of Christians from Australia and New Zealand gathered together:
  • we reflected realistically on where we and our various churches were in our journey of discipleship and mission;
  • we learned from Scripture and the experiences of other Christians;
  • we looked at what we would stop and start doing; and
  • we made concrete plans for the next 6 months.
At the end of the 4 days, people got up and shared what God had been speaking to them about during that time.  Specifically they shared what things they were going to leave behind and what they were going to take with them into the future.  It was inspiring to hear - people had been given new courage, and people had been inspired to fresh love and good deeds.  We finished our time together, praying for each other.

The 'gathering together' led to genuine encouragement and real inspiration to love and good deeds because people:
  • were honest
  • shared what they had learned from scripture and their walks with God
  • made concrete plans in response, and
  • prayed for each other

David Wanstall, 15/11/2013