God has so ordained things that we only grow in grace through the frail instrumentality of one another. --- St. John of the Cross
The gospel intends to transform us and make us fit for kingdom life.
And to make us friends... ever more intentional and competent friends.
Jesus was very clear: By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)
A basic question:
How can we ever learn to love each if we don’t know each other? If we remain perpetual acquaintances!
So, we aim at friendship. Which takes time and hard work!
We gather on Sundays for corporate worship and midweek for bible study and prayer.
But then also (typically every other week) in smaller, less formal settings for intentional conversation and service.
These dimensions of the life of the church work together.
Scripture also speaks realistically about the human heart and cautions:
So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it’s still God’s Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul.
(Hebrews 3. 12 -14, Peterson’s paraphrase from “The Message”)