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.
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