Why Church Attendance is Important
Why Church is Important
Why is church attendance so important? Attendance at church with a body of believers is essential to fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, the necessity of setting aside a day each week to acknowledge God’s importance in our lives is commanded (Ex. 20:8).
Jesus was regularly found in the House of God during His earthly walk (Luke 4:16).
Why can’t a believer stay at home and develop spiritually just through Bible reading and prayer? We must look at Scripture to see the importance God places on attendance in His House with fellow believers. The church is more than a social club. It's where God's people meet together to pray, plan and carry out the work of God. One of Satan's most often used tools is division within the church. Never underestimate the importance of church attendance. There is strength and unity in numbers.
Why can’t a believer stay home and develop spiritually through Bible reading and prayer? Hebrews 10:25 eplains:
"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."
Therefore, the New Testament church met faithfully on the first day of the week. Its members were instructed to bring their offerings to God that day (1 Corinthians 16:2).
If the Son of God felt the need to attend a house of worship regularly, shouldn't we? The Sabbath as an Old Testament tradition gives way in the New Testament to gathering for worship on the first day of the week as a commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection. The day, however, isn't the prime issue; the gathering is.
Relationships are important. We were not created to live in isolation. Historically, some hermits withdrew from the world to meditate and have communion with God, but nowhere in the bible does Scripture teach this as a lifestyle.
Some rationalize once they have learned the basic lessons of the Bible it's no longer necessary to attend church. Others prefer studying and worshiping God alone at home. But both are essential to a healthy Christian life. Paul told the Thessalonians,
"Therefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do" (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
How can we do this if we isolate ourselves off from others? Theoretically, one can worship by themself in certain situations, such as those bedridden But even then a good local church would send their emissaries to attend to them. Could it be we don't go to church regularly to be saved; but because we are saved? Christian fellowship in a local church is good for our emotional health, and essential to our Christian commitment.
It's the responsibility of church leadership to plan and conduct services so God can speak and manifest His presence to those gathered for worship. Unfortunately, there may be some lackluster churches failing in their cause. What should a disappointed believer do? Should they seek a more dedicated and flamboyant congregation. Rather than leaving the church a dedicated believer will use this as an opportunity to "fire up" the church. God responds to persistent intercessory prayers of righteous people.
"Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy" (James 5:16).
We are all part of the body of Christ, sent to edify the group He has placed us in.
The Importance of the Church
Jesus established the church to carry out not only His great commission, but also for the spiritual health of the believer. To show, from the Bible, the importance of faithful attendance to the house of God on the Lord's day. And the benefits by being a member of a local church.
Can it be the church has become little more than a place for social gatherings? Surely, the Lord had more in mind. After all it was He who told Peter,
"Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
What is the central business of the local church? What benefits can Christians expect from regular church attendance? And why did the Lord command we not forsake the attendance of His house as Hebrews 10:25 said?
The church is more than a social club. It's where God's people meet to pray, plan and carry out God's work. There are three symbols of the church found in the Bible. Each an object lesson, placed into the Word of God to teach truth about the ministry, mission, and manner of the church.
In 1 Corinthians Chapter 12, the church is called a body.
"But now are they many members, yet but one body.”
Another lesson in symbolism is a body has organization and structure. The human body was designed and built by God. He put the head, feet, hands, and every other member of the human body in just the right place. We are to be the laborers together in building up the church. Some lay the foundation; others continue to build upon it.
Every bride has a specific day to be joined to the groom in marriage. No one is born already married. There is a day when this commitment is made. Likewise, no one is born into this life already saved and joined to the Body of Christ. Just as there is a specific wedding day for every bride, there is a specific day when one is born again into God's family.
The most important ingredient within a church body, other than the power of God, is unity. Division is one of Satan's most often used tools within the church. A spiritual church must have spiritual people who will serve together in unity.
In a spiritual church, there will be fellowship. Fellowship means to "share interests, feelings and companionship with others." To walk in fellowship with others demands an agreement upon the essentials of the Christian faith. Fellowship also means warmth, friendliness and concern for one another. Without these no church can be truly spiritual.
In a spiritual church they will be giving. It's impossible to be spiritual and selfish at the same time. Giving is a matter of the heart, and an indicator of our love for others. Therefore, a spiritual church is also a giving church.
In a spiritual church there will be Bible teaching and Bible preaching. One of the best ways to grow in the spirit is to spend time studying the Word of God. There will also be evangelism. The very best advertisement is by "word of mouth." As the Jerusalem church spread the word, God blessed daily, with people being saved and added to the church.
The Man Who Didn't Go to Church
There is a Bible story about a disciple named Thomas. It illustrates what one misses by skipping church. In John 20:19-31 you will find a story about the time Jesus met with His disciples just after His resurrection.
Joh 20:24 “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
Joh 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
A good church helps keep the "peace of God" in the Christian's heart and home. Thomas missed the Lord's great commission and command to His disciples.
Jesus made clear His plan to send believers out to preach the gospel so others may hear and be saved. He missed hearing what God wanted him to do by not being present. He also missed the filling of the Holy Spirit. By missing this meeting, Thomas was ashamed and embarrassed when the Lord returned. Simply by missing this meeting, Thomas became a doubter. One of the fastest ways for a Christian's faith to decline is to fall into the habit of skipping church. How many Christians would be ashamed if Jesus returned? It's interesting to note nothing more is heard about Thomas in the Scriptures after this event.
Never underestimate the importance of church and the life of the Christian. A church is like a fireplace in some ways. When you reach into a fireplace with a poker and remove a live coal, that coal will eventually lose is light and warmth until it ceases to burn it all.