Of the many pieces of advice I got over the past few months during this transition, one of them was that ‘FAC Youth’ was not an adequate name for our group. We needed a name. We needed a name that could capture who we are in essence and who we strive to be, a name that would provide both identity and goal, being and becoming. While this seemed exciting at first, it soon dawned on me that this was a rather impossible task. How could I possibly capture both our identity and goal in at most a couple of words without it being either trite and superficial on the one hand or artificial and imposing on the other? After thinking up and shooting down idea after idea after idea, I finally settled on a name that I thought might capture identity and goal in a simple and yet quite comprehensive way. That name: ‘The Gathering‘.
Matthew 18:20 “For where two are three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
I settled on ‘The Gathering’ over all the other catchy and often more narrowly defined names that were suggested because, in light of Jesus’ promise in Matt. 18:20, it is a concept that encompasses the most basic and fundamental purpose of all Christian assemblies: to commune together with the living God. I can hope and pray for no more and no less than this. It constitutes both the ground of our identity and the goal of each of our meetings. We are those who are in Christ and those who seek Christ, who abide and follow. And we recognize that God has chosen to make himself known in a special way in the context of community, so it is in community that we gather. If Jesus gathers with us, it changes everything. If he does not, we are wasting our time. In the words of A.W. Tozer, “[We] want the presence of God himself, or [we] don’t want anything at all to do with religion…[We] want all that God has or [we] don’t want any.”
So let the name of our group ever be a reminder of how you can pray for us. Pray that as we gather together in Christ’s name, there He would be among us.