With Whom Do You Gather?With Whom Do You Gather?
For where two or three are gathered . . .
there am I among them—Matthew 18:20
We men often find it hard to gather with other men in Christian community. Calendars are full: “I just don’t have time for one more thing.” Pride is high: “I’m good . . . I’m doing fine on my own.” Aversion to vulnerability is strong: “Oh, man . . . I’m just not that good at opening up.” If we are followers of our King, Jesus Christ, though, we must gather—“not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some” (Hebrews 10:25).
But . . . why? Why is community so important for men? Well, a couple reasons. “Two are better than one,” Scripture tells us—we are stronger, less vulnerable, together (Ecclesiastes 4:9).
“For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10).
Even more important, though, Jesus tells us that he is uniquely present when we gather in his name (Matthew 18:20). You see, God the Holy Spirit dwells within each follower of Jesus (John 14:17). Therefore, when we gather, the power of the Spirit flows from one to another and back. When we gather, the work of God is done: confessions are made; sins are repented; love and compassion are expressed; hearts are healed; encouragement is given; lives are transformed. Men are lifted up, up out of sin and rebellion, into life and identity and calling. Work is done that just cannot be done in isolation.
Okay, so what do we do?
Grab some other guys . . . one guy, even. Start meeting on a regular basis, weekly is best. Fight for community, brother—against calendars, against pride, against fear. King David sang: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalm 133:1-3). This is so very important.