The following thoughts about why we should go to church are from Donald Whitney’s book, Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church. They were compiled and sent to me by Ben Phillips, Family Team Ministry Leader of the ABSC.

Two questions to ask yourself about your church…..

  1. What’s in this church for me?
  2. What’s in me for this church?

1. Going to church is a biblical requirement for all Christians.
Hebrews 10:24-25 “ And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

  • Ultimately, whether or not you go to church is a question of whether you will obey God and submit to the authority of His word.
  • The church is not a department store where you come and get the spiritual commodity you want, then go your way. To speak of loving Christ while neglecting His body, the church is hypocritical.

2. Going to church helps prevent backsliding and apostasy.
Hebrews 10:24-25 “ And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

  • Statistics show that if you don’t go to church for a month, the odds are almost 2 to 1 that you won’t go for more than a year.
  • If you can miss church and not miss church, then something is absent from your heart and faith.

3. Going to church brings spiritual fellowship and encouragement.
Acts 2:42 “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together, praising God and enjoying the favor of all people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

  • If a child is going to be emotionally healthy, they need the socialization and encouragement a family can provide. In the same way, every child of God needs the fellowship and encouragement that God intends for them to receive from a church family if they are going to be spiritually healthy.

4. Going to church expresses obedience to the greatest commandment.
Mark 12:28-20 “The most important one, answered Jesus, is this: Hear O Israel, the Lord our God the Lord is on. Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

  • How can we say that we love God with everything that’s in us if we can’t get out of bed to worship Him with His people?
  • Francois Fenelon was the court preacher for King Louis 14 of France in the 1600s. One Sunday the king and his attendants made their grand entrance into the chapel, only to discover that no one else was there. What does this mean? King Louis demanded. I had published that you would not be here today, Fenelon replied, in order that your majesty might see who serves God in truth and who flatters the king. We should go to church because we love God more than anyone else.

5. Going to church follows Jesus’ example.
Luke 4:16. “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.”

  • Most of us would admit that Jesus was a very busy man and did a lot of good things but always managed to be in the synagogue for worship.
  • The argument of being to busy to be involved in the things of God is bogus for most people. You make time to do what is important to you. If people came to church only when they had nothing else to do, most churches would be empty on Sundays.

6. Going to church is a testimony of support for God’s work in the world.
Matthew12:30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”

  • I’m not against you Jesus, many non-attenders would protest. But the example of their lives denies their professed loyalty.

7. Going to church enables you to hear in person the preaching of God’s word.
2 Timothy 4:2-4, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season, correct, rebuke, and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
1 Peter 2:2 “Like newborn babes crave pure spiritual milk so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

  • Watching church instead of attending tends not only to breed disloyalty to the church but to foster an isolated, private, and individualistic kind of Christianity; and that is not the kind of Christianity nourished in the Bible. The more accustomed you grow to sermon-tasting with your remote control, the more satisfied you become with this kind of fast-food, have it your way Christianity.

8. Going to church allows you take the Lord’s supper.
Luke 22:19 “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:26 “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

  • If we do not go to church we say that we don’t care to proclaim the death of Christ; I don’t care to participate in the memorial of what Jesus has done for me.

9. Going to church enables you to experience special blessings from God.
1 Corinthians 12:12. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.”
My body is able to sense several different things. The smell of a fresh baked homemade apple pie, the sight of the leaves changing color in the fall, the sound of a mockingbird singing its different melodies, the feel of a new born babies soft skin. These are all pleasurable experiences that I experience through my physical body. In the spiritual body of the church we experience many unique blessings (seeing someone get saved, seeing a child sing Jesus loves me with his two front teeth missing, seeing an elderly person pass away knowing that they are in heaven safe and secure in Jesus arms.

10. Going to church helps prevent an unbalanced Christian life.
Ephesians 4:11-16. “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ might be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

  • Those who are not an active part of a local church body are much more susceptible to being blown back and forth by spiritual fads.
  • It’s like just being an eyeball. All you can do is see. It’s like being an ear, all you can do is hear.

11. Going to church is one indication of eternal life.
1 John 3:14. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.”

  • How can anyone say that they love brothers and sisters in Christ when they don’t even love them enough to be with them? If you say you really love your family then you don’t fail to miss the family reunion each Sunday.

12. Not going to church is one indication of not being in God’s family.
1 John 2:19. “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged.”

Other Considerations Regarding Church Attendance.

  1. Going to church does not make you a Christian. Ephesians 2:8-9
  2. Going to church is vital for Christians. John 15:5, John 15:13
  3. Not going to church is self-centered and foolish. Proverbs 18:1.
  4. Not going to church is willful disobedience to the authority of God. Hebrews 10:25
  5. No church will be perfect or free from offensive things. Revelation 2:1-3:22

One last thought…

  • If you find the perfect church, don’t join. You’ll make it imperfect. 😉

On this day...