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About Church Membership and Attendance

Updated on March 16, 2017

About Church Attendance and Membership

Is “church” attendance a scriptural requirement for Christ's disciples? Which “church” should I attend? Is “church” membership required? Is participating in the “church's programs” “serving Christ”? Which programs? How do I decide these things?

Lets see what the scriptures say about these questions. Since we live in the New Testament age we must use the New Testament as our source of the truth concerning these questions. The old testament pattern (law of Moses) is not the source for us as it was given ONLY to Israel as at the time they were the people of God, but since the death and resurrection of Christ (the SON OF GOD) the people of God are those who believe in AND FOLLOW CHRIST. Scripture tells us that ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY has been given to Him until the end of the age (new testament) when He returns it to God and sits down at the right hand of God in submission to Him.

Matt 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

1 Cor 15:20-28 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Because the Son of God has all the authority and power of His Father God during this age and acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior is required to enter the Kingdom of God, scripture tells us there is only one way to enter the Kingdom, through Jesus Christ.

1 Tim 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

Is “church” attendance a scriptural requirement for Christ's disciples?

The scripture usually used to say “church attendance is required is;

Heb 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

First lets look at what scripture says is “church” (ekklesia is usually translated as church). Is it a building that we must go to to meet with our Lord and sit and listen to a salaried man teach us his beliefs on what the bible says? Or is it actually something else as some say?

In the scriptures below we see what the “church” ekklesia really is.

1 Cor 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Matt 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Acts 5:10 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

Acts 8:3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.

Acts 11:26 So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

Acts 14:27 Now when they had come and gathered the church together,

1 Cor 11:18 For first of all, when you come together as a church,

1Cor 16:19 with the church that is in their house.

Phil 3:6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church;

Do you notice that in the scriptures above that every reference to the “church” is people? There is no mention of “church” being a building or anything other than the people following Christ. It tells us that we are the TEMPLE of God, that He will build His “church” in people beginning with Peter, that fear came upon the “church” (a building cannot have fear), when they came for the”church” they took people, that they assembled “with the church” (how do you assemble WITH a building?), they gathered WITH “the church”, with the “church in a house (how would you get a building in a small house?, and that they “PERSECUTED THE CHURCH” (how do you persecute a building?).

So according to scripture “church” (the ekklesia), is the disciples of Christ) NOT A BUILDING it is the PEOPLE IN WHOM THE SPIRIT OF GOD RESIDES.

What is the purpose and manner of the church “ekklesia” coming together?

1 Cor 14:26-40 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Do you see anyone “in charge” here? Do you see the “pastor? Do you see that all that have something edifying to say are to say it.

You do not see a “pastor” because THE PASTOR is present, there is only ONE PASTER and HE is with and in His people. The church is wherever 2 or more of His people are gathered, not a building, because His people do not have to go anywhere to meet with Him..

Note in the example above that the Holy Spirit does the teaching through the people He selects. No man made programs here.

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Note you must remember real church is NOT A BUILDING, it is 2 or more saints meeting with the holy Spirit, whenever wherever, it has nothing to do with a building falsely called a church.

What about “church” membership

There is NOT A SINGLE MENTION in scripture of “church” membership, “church membership cards or rolls. They are a man made means of binding people to a doctrinal indoctrination center run by men espousing their corrupted version of “church”.

The Kingdom of God is entered one way, through the front gate which is Jesus Christ the Son of God. All who enter by the front gate are citizens (much better than being members). Like any other kingdom the Kingdom of God has rules for entering and participating in the benefits of citizenship. NO ONE enters and gains CITIZENSHIP without complying with ALL RULES.

What”church” programs should I participate in?

There are NO “church” programs. But There are things required of All citizens.

Citizens are required to do the following;

Love the Lord with all you facilities

Love each other as yourself.

Help other citizens in need .

Teach the Gospel to all peoples you meet and be an example of Christ

Become like Jesus

I have randomly mentioned a few things you fill in the rest, to be found in the new testament.

How do I do these things?

The below 2 scriptures tell us how.

We must receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit so that we can hear Him tell us what to do, how to do it and empower us. And we must study scripture with the aid of the Holt Spirit to be sure we learn TRUTH. Remember God does use men to teach but men can teach both truth or lies. The Holy Spirit is THE ONLY SOURCE for ALL TRUTH so be sure to have Him confirm or deny all things. Whether they be truth or lies.

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Acts 1:8 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

If you heed the scriptures and advice herein no one will be able to lead you astray. You will not fall for the guilt trips, the peer pressure and all the wiles of satan and men to pressure you to follow them and their plans. You will learn to tell a wolf even it he is dressed as a lamb. God's Son and His word say IF WE ENDURE TO THE END WE SHALL BE SAVED. This means following all the rules to the best of our ability and repenting quickly when we miss the mark. MAN may say different but God wrote the rules and HE WILL ENFORCE THEM not man.


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  • celafoe profile imageAUTHOR


    18 months ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

    eric-I am not judging you, but scripture does. you claim to know Michaels intent and mine by your worldly knowledge but get upset to see your lies, false accusations, false doctrines and beliefs exposed by the application of scripture.

    the true disciples of Christ do not have to wait around, and wonder they only have to endure to the end.

    this conversation is over you have diverted it from the subject at hand.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Charlie, most folks wait around in hope and blindness about their judgment day. I can rest quite assured and not wonder, for you and your Holy Spirit have already passed judgment upon me. What freedom to be judged fully by another man and not God directly. I wish I had your righteousness.

  • celafoe profile imageAUTHOR


    18 months ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

    ERIC- AS I HAVE TOLD YOU MANY TIMES, I am JUST PRESENTING SCRIPTURE TRUTH. What you do with it is up to you. And I do not expect anyone to believe what I or any other MAN says unless and until the Holy Spirit confirms it as truth.

    You are so unstable, one time you see truth, the next time you use you knowledge and worldly ways to deny truth if it does not fit your idea and the next time you try to twist it to fit your desires. You are so wrong on so many levels it is amazing. I desire NO MAN TO FOLLOW ME, but as does God, I desire ALL MEN to come to a saving relationship with HIS SON JESUS. I always point to Jesus and point people to Him, not a "church", "religion" or false doctrine as you and many others do.

    I am sick of hearing about your many years of studying unGodly

    subjects and religions and men and trying to make Christianity fit everyone without the need to follow ALL THE REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH IN SCRIPTURE.

    And for you to attack and accuse Michael unjustly because he agrees with truth is downright evil. The garbage you quote for you r great ability to discern the heart of a man is garbage from men. God is the only one able to discern the heart of a man and unless He shows it to a man NO MAN CAN SEE IT. You owe Michael an apology for your evil attack on him, unlike you he believes in scripture as the ultimate truth for man

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    There is no way I misconstrued all of your prior comments as judgment and statements about what is right. You are not throwing out ideas to follow you are saying that you are right about them. With a lifetime studying linguistic and micro expression analysis I did not get this wrong. You were going with Celfoe in the direction of we are right and others are wrong.

    Please direct me where I made an error in your intent.

  • Michael-Milec profile image


    18 months ago


    No, not at all! Eric Dierker Sir, I do not see "the problem here" Because I never said being better or I did claime being better than you or anybody else to follow me. ( Why are you doing this to me? I do not know you, you do not know me in a sense of meeting in person. Maybe you should know, that my life wolking with Jesus is all I try to obey His word as is written in the Gospels and faithfully executing His will whenever and wherever Spirit of livig God leads me. - Freedom living in Chrsit is for everybody, and to that liberty Christ invites all. )


    I never compared myself saying I amd right and "they are wrong". I am accountable to myself and to my God as "they " are accountable to their gods.

    Sorry my friend, if this sounds like church to you , then probobly churches are coming in many forms, shapes and presumptions.

    May God bless you. Have a great weekend.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Do you to see the problem here? Attack other preachers because they are preachers and yet preach yourselves that only your way is the right way.

    No matter how you claim it. They claim righteousness and Holy Spirit also. By you even claiming your way is the right way is to step behind the podium and tell the people what to think.

    Do you say "I can say it like this because I am right and they are wrong"? Do you say the HS guides me but not a man in a building built in honor of God.

    Maybe you guys are better to follow? Do you want us to follow you? Sounds like church to me.

  • Michael-Milec profile image


    18 months ago

    charlie, no correction please. Standing in agreement of the gospel's saving truth, we are called to present, live and proclaim God's truthful way of righteous worship and keep ourselves from being polluted by the religious pagan world.

  • celafoe profile imageAUTHOR


    18 months ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

    MICHAEL- YES, that is correct, you have taken to scripture showing the next steps, that are the proof of WHO are the TRUE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST. Today these "proofs" are seldom seen but they WILL ALWAYS BE PRESENT WHERE THERE ARE TRUE DISCIPLES scripturally presenting the Kingdom of God. That is why we do not see them present in the "churches" and they are rare in the USA. I have seen them also in every country I have been in around the world as you have, but never have I seen them following a "church pastor". I have also seen in all the same countries much hyped up, emotional, unscriptural false examples trying to imitate these proofs. Such as The Toronto emotional outbreak, the Florida emotional fiasco and the same many other places where men were in CONTROL, NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT. When the Holy Spirit is in control there is NO UNRULY , UNSCRIPTURAL HOCUS POCUS, SCREAMING, PEOPLE BEING PUSHED DOWN, BUT AND ORDERLY and REVERENT QUIET MOVE OF GOD. HE IS NOT IN THE EMOTIONAL FRENZY BROUGHT BY MEN that do not possess the presence of the Holy Spirit.

    I have also had men try to push me down, whispering to me "fall down" as their "proof" was people falling down. You should see their faces when I say in a loud voice "stop pushing me and don't tell me to fall down.

    Correct me if I am wrong but it seems you agree and just added some important information. Thanks for you input.

  • Michael-Milec profile image


    18 months ago

    Perhaps most amusing subject if one would like to summarize all kind of churches, and everything concerning of ''membership" and 'attendance' as is known in the world..

    Would that be necessary and for what purposes, a troubling question.

    "How do I decide these things " is your genuine question, which in economy of the One who walked on this planet earth with the message of "repent for the kingdom of heaven (God) is near." Then He went showing and telling how he wants it to be done once he will return back to the place He came from. Matthew describes some of it " Jesus went all through Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, proclaiming Good News of the Kingdom and" - (DOING DEEDS OF THE KINGDOM)- healing every kind of disease and sickness among the people..... and he heal them." Matt 4:23.24.

    Likewise he taught HIS DISCIPLES, show them how they shall do it, authorizing them "go, preach this message: the kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons..." (Matt 1o:8) . After short three years shortly after His resurrection He has entrusted them --his disciple,- disciples of all ages- also called 'believers' by EXACTLY with the same (""Church mission in tradition language"[not exactly ]) - - with the same assignment " Go into all the world and preach... (Mark 16:15) and wherever men believe, these signs will be found: men wild drive out demons in my name, speak with new tongues, ....they will lay hand s on the sick and the will recover."(Mark 16:16). One more please John 14:12, Jesus speaking "In very truth I tell you, he who believes in me will also do the work that I am doing...."

    Furthermore , he solved also a ("church membership"- not exactly !) - "He who loves me will be loved b y my Father and I will too love him and show myself to him.' - If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and WE WILL COME TO HIM and - make - our - HOME with him "(John 14: 21. 23. 24). All I know this is truth, an "operative truth" proven in all over the world where ever "Two or three gather IN His name - HE IS THERE among them - yes among US.- How do we know that Jesus is there among those two or three? - by the same manifestation as are recorded in the Gospels wherever Jesus was present , the kingdom of God was preached and manifested. One more thing, concerning the "attendance, "Believe me... a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem... yet time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth for the Father seeks such people as his worshipers."(John 4:23.24).

    We have seen the above described scriptural reality evenly manifested in Moscow, or Kiev, or part of Yugoslavia, in Dallas Texas as well as Calgary Canada not omitting laying hands on a sick men on construction site, or casting out demons in Jesus name in diverse places.

    In short that would be my commenting contribution to urgent topic "about church"...

    Glory be to God.

  • celafoe profile imageAUTHOR


    18 months ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

    Eric- you have found what scripture tells us is the way to remember Christ, a meal (not a silly cracker and grape juice) in remembrance of Him, where He is honored , His sacrifice celebrated and appreciated and He is worshiped as our Savior. congratulations. Isn't it a wonderful thing? Of course He honors your correct response to His words.

    you are a fortunate guy, I love Vietnamese food and do not find it here so I have to make it myself, esp fresh spring rolls (goi-cuon)

    I personally do not like the pomp etc but as long as you do not let that get in the way of scripture truth then I can not fault you for enjoying it.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    So cool and well done Charlie. How exciting to get such easy to understand guidance. I am sure you know by now that I like the pomp and circumstance and the group prayer and of course the singing. My boy and I like to listen to the readings and kind of look at each other funny during a sermon and then scoot on out the back door and check out nature and other cool stuff. Gives us good reflection for conversation during our ride to go love life.

    But my wife's Vietnamese friends in the congregation where I used to preach are very funny. They have great feasts together. Love Jesus and each other. So we have them over and my wife and son go to their homes and 30 or so of us have a Christ centered celebration. I do not know about communion but we bless our bread and soup. Children running around and old folks being happy to be with like minded Christians.

    We, my son and I practice the new testament every day of the week, we like to go to a game on Sunday ;-)

    You just cannot let a church be your spiritual adviser. That must be parents until later and then the Holy Spirit and best friends in Christ.

    Some times I wonder if God gives my home so much happiness because we go straight to the maker and the son and skip the middleman.

    Thanks Charlie


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