There is a vertical aspect to worship that we are well aware of – Worship of God and His Son Jesus. That is not only the most important purpose of the church, but worship is the duty of all mankind. The more people who get saved the more people who worship almighty God. But there is also a horizontal aspect of worship – fellowship and serving alongside other believers. Most people believe the first aspect is important. I hear people often make excuses for not being in church. “I pray every night.” “I watch preachers on television.” “I read my Bible.” Great. But these are only the vertical aspect of worship. Scripture tells us in Hebrews 10, “let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” In Acts 2 we see the church this way, “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
You can worship God anywhere and even by yourself. But you cannot be the church by yourself. You won’t be able to encourage one another, share bread, disciple each other, give to one another in need, and many more things… if you are not connected to a body of believers. Your worship will be incomplete. The word church itself mean “the called out ones”. The Great Commission tells us to “make disciples”. You won’t be able to make disciples or be discipled if you are trying to live the Christian life apart from other believers.
This little poem I found a long time ago says it this way
I will do more than belong — I will participate
I will do more than care — I will help
I will do more than believe — I will practice
I will do more than be fair — I will be kind
I will do more than forgive — I will work
I will do more than earn — I will enrich
I will do more than teach — I will inspire
I will do more than give — I will serve
I will do more than live — I will grow
I will do more than be friendly — I will be a friend
Don’t miss assembling yourselves together as some do. Truly worship God in both vertical and horizontal directions. Connect with the Body of Christ. God made us relational creatures and we need other people all along our spiritual journey. Find a group of believers to connect with today. Remember the scripture that assures us, “Iron sharpens Iron.” Sharpen someone and be sharpened as you worship God.