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And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, and all the more as you see to Day approaching. — Heb 10:25
The Bible exhorts us to gather together, and truth is, sometimes we feel like it and sometimes we don’t. With Women Rock Conference just a few weeks away and registrations in full-swing, I thought we’d take a look at reasons we gather. Why does God tell us to gather and to keep gathering? Why should we take time and resources, make a plan, carve out a day, and block out our calendars to come together? There are simply many, many reasons, from the very personal to the very social. One thing is true: there is the real power in gathering together. God’s manifested presence is found when His people gather. Here are six simple yet life-giving reasons we gather. I hope they encourage you to make the time, put forth the effort, and chose to be part of what God is doing!
Jacob has been serving at The Rock for 14 years. He worked in maintenance or 12 of them and has spent the last 2 years in charge of the bus ministry.
The ministry provides transportation to many who would otherwise not have the ability to come to church. Jacob talks about the joy of bringing people to a place where God’s word is preached; a place where those in need can get food and clothing; a place where they can be spiritually filled. “When I drop the people back home after church it’s like dropping off little pockets of light throughout the Inland Empire,” he says.
Bryan Schultze has been serving at The Rock for more than 14 years. He is responsible for running all aspects of The Rock Food Distribution Ministry. He not only hands out food, but he brings in donations, organizes volunteers, sets up food distribution, as well as handles the transportation logistics.
He’s also no stranger to actually going through the food line himself.
During a dark time in his life, Bryan fell deep into addiction. Sixteen years ago, he became homeless and in need of help. Reluctantly, he turned to a local church food pantry. “It broke me to go, I didn’t want to be there, no one wants to be there,” he remembers. Yes, there was a physical hunger for food, but it was going to take a lot more than food to fill the hunger within his spirit. “I knew I needed help and the only thing that could fix me was Jesus.”
“Food distribution may bring the people here but, that’s not what the ministry is really here for. We’re here to let them know that Jesus loves them,” he explained. It’s his desire that those who come through the food line know the God that changed his life can change theirs too.
At the age of 42, Marilyn Hickey responded to God’s call on her life to ‘cover the earth with His Word’ (Isaiah 11:9). The natural inclination to reach out, to celebrate people and culture, were traceable in Marilyn’s formative years; yet she had no idea how God would send her around the globe teaching the Bible and building bridges with people of all cultures and religious backgrounds, especially in the Muslim world.