I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong — that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.Romans 1:11-12 NIV
How important is it for believers to gather together? I know some who seem not to think it is all that important; believing that they can live as Christians without being a part of a fellowship of believers. As a person for whom social interaction is draining, I can understand at least one of the motivations that keep people from being an active part of a church. And I also understand that the church, like every other collection of people, has its share of hypocrites.
But we need each other; even the Lone Ranger had a companion. If any believer would have been strong enough to stand alone, you would think it would be Paul. Yet even he saw the need to fellowship with other believers, for mutual encouragement, if for no other reason. While I can learn, pray, and even worship alone, I am very thankful for the other believers in my life who encourage me and share their lives with me; and pray that my life might also be an encouragement to them. That we might experience the mutual encouragement that comes from lives lived together.