Gather Together

The current trend in leaving organized religion behind is troubling for many reasons. Yesterday, I was sharing with a member about how throughout the human story it was the religious faithful who stepped forward to care for the poor, outcast, infected, those who suffer from famine and natural disasters.

“Imagine a day when all who seek God cease gathering together…when a crisis comes what kind of response will we see?” Governments will only respond as far as their populace pressures them and by how much they have in their designated funds for relief. Humanitarian groups? They too struggle to recruit and retain as the generations that have helped them thrive continue to pass away. Be a decent human being and a neighbor. Sure, of course. Just how far will you go for your neighbor, your co-worker, or classmate?

Religion challenges our self obsessed culture and pushes humanity to love the unbearable, forgive everyone, and show hospitality when it doesn’t make sense.

Pastor, why can’t I read at my own pace and explore faith in a way that works with my schedule?

Certainly you can explore faith on your own and I pray that you are seeking God as an individual. However, let me ask what is influencing the question?

We have a #remotework culture and have for decades. I get it. I see tremendous benefit from it and I myself have worked “off site” from time to time. I read a few articles on LinkedIn on the topic, many of whom say it is here to stay and companies who don’t offer it will struggle to retain the most talented in the work force. One opinion piece from Computerworld said;

“Over the next year or two, some of your best employees may quit and find work elsewhere for a simple reason: They want to work from home full time.

During the past 10 years, telecommuting has gone up – doubling, in fact, with growth of 115% between 2005 and 2015, according to the US Census Bureau.”

There were other articles that suggested that you can have high functioning team that is 100% remote. The main requirement is a manager that can team build and invest in this kind of work culture. In his opinion many managers cannot.

This gets us back now to the organized religion and specifically Christian Churches. When you study the long story of our faith you learn that message of a sent Messiah did not stay local in Jerusalem. Remote? Sort of. Satellite campuses? Kind of.

In all of this expansion there existed a simple message practice remotely, inquire individually, gather together frequently. Why?

The message of hope in God is not a region specific, individual driven, personal investigation product.

The message that has transformed the world did so, because we have gathered together for centuries.

Explore your spiritual life on your own. Be remote, but do not neglect the importance of gathering together with others of the faith. This is how the old will be made new. This is how the generations learn from each other. This is how needs are tended to and wounds are healed. This is how our God designed us to function.

Find a gathering of believers and seekers. Practice the faith together.

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