What Does the Bible Say About Gathering Together?

Gathering together with other believers is an important part of the Christian life. As Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV) says, we should not forsake assembling together. Throughout the Bible, we see instructions and examples showing the value of Christians coming together for worship, prayer, teaching, fellowship, and more. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the biblical foundations for gathering together and see how God intends it to shape and strengthen His people.

Key Takeaways:

  • God designed us for community and gathering together.
  • Gathering together was modeled by the early church.
  • We are instructed not to neglect gathering together.
  • Gathering together benefits us spiritually.
  • God’s presence is manifested when we gather.
  • Gathered worship pleases God.
  • The church is compared to a body that needs all its parts.
  • Gathering together equips us for service and ministry.
  • We encourage each other when meeting together.
  • Gathering together gives us opportunities for fellowship.
What Does the Bible Say About Gathering Together?

God Designed Us for Community and Gathering Together

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Human beings were created for relationship and community. God Himself exists in community as the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in perfect unity and fellowship. When God created humans he said, “It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18 NKJV). We are made to be together, to live in interdependent community.

The biblical metaphor of the church being Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) also points to the community we are designed for. Just as a physical body needs all its parts and systems working together, the church needs its members connecting, communicating, and cooperating. This happens when we gathering together instead of remaining isolated and independent.

Gathering Together was Modeled by the Early Church

The early Christian church gives us a pattern for making gathering together a priority. After Pentecost, the early believers “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42 NKJV). They met together daily (Acts 2:46) and “gladly received” the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:41).

Later, as the church spread, believers gathered on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7), devoting themselves to the teaching, fellowship, remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice, and prayer (Acts 2:42). They saw their life together as essential to their faith, not optional.

We Are Instructed Not to Neglect Gathering Together

The most direct Bible passage about the importance of gathering together is Hebrews 10:24-25:

And 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. (NKJV)

The author tells us gathering together is not optional. We need each other to stir up love and good works. Forsaking gathering will leave us spiritually impoverished.

We gather together because we need mutual encouragement and exhortation. The trials and obstacles of life can wear us down and isolate us if we try to go it alone. God reminds us of our need to assemble together.

Gathering Together Benefits Us Spiritually

Throughout the New Testament letters, we see instructions about gathering together and promises of spiritual benefits from doing so faithfully.

For example, teaching and admonishing one another with psalm, hymns and spiritual songs builds up the church (Colossians 3:16). Praying together joins our faith and brings powerful results (Matthew 18:19-20). Meeting together to remember Christ’s sacrifice in the Lord’s Supper examines our hearts and draws us closer to Him (1 Corinthians 11:17-34).

Sharing fellowship and our lives with one another moves us beyond surface relationships into deep Christian community (Acts 2:42). Laying aside individual agendas to serve the body with our gifts edifies the whole church (1 Corinthians 12:7, Ephesians 4:11-16). And on and on.

God’s Presence is Manifested When We Gather

God manifests His presence in special ways when Christians gather together. Jesus said “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20 NKJV). We come together not only for our benefit, but so that God may be glorified and worshipped by His people.

Throughout the Old and New Testament we see God meeting with His people when they gathered – in the tabernacle, temple, upper room, etc. He pours out His Spirit on the gathered believers at Pentecost. Though God is omnipresent, He reveals His presence uniquely in the context of His people assembling together.

Gathered Worship Pleases God

One of the highest privileges of gathering together is worshipping God collectively with other believers. While we can worship God individually, something powerful happens when the church comes together for corporate adoration of the Father. Jesus said true worshipers “will worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4:23).

When diverse believers come together – young and old, men and women, rich and poor, new and mature Christians – and lift their voices in praise, it creates a symphony of adoration pleasing to God. It testifies to His worth. It brings unity amidst diversity. The church gathered to worship shows all creation the “manifold wisdom of God” (Ephesians 3:10).

The Church is Compared to a Body That Needs All Its Parts

The most common New Testament metaphor for the church is the human body. Just as a body relies on the coordinated working of many parts, the church depends on all members doing their unique part (Romans 12:4-8). We gather together so the whole body can function properly and stay healthy.

Some parts of the body have noticeable roles like the hands and feet. But even less prominent parts like the liver and kidneys are essential. Similarly in the church, those up front may be noticeable, but every member matters (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Gathering together allows us to function in harmony as Christ’s living body on earth.

Gathering Together Equips Us for Service and Ministry

A vital purpose of gathering together is equipping believers for works of service and ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16). We receive teaching, training, and opportunities to discover and use our spiritual gifts. The body builds itself up “in love” as each part does its work.

Coming together also provides needed refreshment and renewal for service and outreach. Jesus did not send out the twelve disciples until “he gathered them together” (Mark 6:7, 30-32 NKJV). They returned to Jesus afterward for rest and sharing. We go out to minister equipped, and return for encouragement.

We Encourage Each Other When Meeting Together

Life is full of trials and burdens – illness, grief, financial trouble, relational conflicts, losses, disabilities, and more. We need fellow believers to “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2 NKJV). Gathering together gives us opportunities to empathize, comfort, and encourage one another in hard times.

We also encourage one another to continue in the faith. The author of Hebrews urged believers to meet together all the more as they saw Christ’s return approaching (Hebrews 10:25). Gathering stirs up hope and mutual excitement about the life we share in Christ. It motivates us to “run with endurance” together (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Gathering Together Gives Us Opportunities for Fellowship

While fellowship refers to our shared life in Christ, when the early church “broke bread” together it also involved sharing meals (Acts 2:42). Eating together opened homes and hearts in mutual care and enjoyment of relationships. It strengthened bonds between believers.

Gathering continues to build spiritual fellowship when it moves beyond mere attendance into participation, conversation, sharing life and meals. Relationships grow deeper as we spend informal time together. Life groups and similar small gatherings enhance our walk with Christ together.


As we have seen through numerous Scriptures, gathering together with fellow Christians is vital for our spiritual health and growth. It is part of God’s design for His church. Throughout the Bible, we see the people of God meeting together, worshipping together, serving together, encouraging together.

The church is often failing today to be the authentic community Christ intended it to be. But as we repent of self-reliance and commit to regular gathered worship, fellowship, and service again, God can revive and strengthen His church. As Hebrews says, let us not neglect gathering together! The benefits are immense.

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