Must I go to church? Especially in a time like this where everything is competing for the average person’s Sunday morning, work, rest, classes. Coupled with the accessibility of the gospel. You can stream an entire service and even pay your offering from the convenience of your bedroom, so why bother, why stress and spend the time, energy, resources to be physically present in a meeting.
We conducted a poll on our Instagram page with the simple question; Is going to church necessary as a Christian? We added 3 options, Yes, No, It Depends.
Here are the responses that were beyond just a Yes or No,
Yes! I am however a proponent of prayerfully and intentionally selecting… that is when church becomes meaningful. Not to sound bitter, there is a lot of nonesense going around and in the wake of wokeness and rhema. We have forgotten that lines must be drawn, and we must give hearing to leadings. We must also understand what exactly the church is designed for. The understanding of this truth will help us appreciate how important it is to be actively committed to a Spirit led local church. For me, I understand that there’s an allocation of spiritual, social, and mental growth that has been incorporated in the church that I’d never have access to in the corner of my toilet.
It will be against the model of the Christians in the Bible (Epistles) to not belong to a particular Church. Or to whom do we think all those Letters to Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians…were written? If I don’t go to church ‘ta ni mo fe fi jo’?
Yes. As children of God, we grow by helping each other; encouraging one another, prayer for one another, being there for each other in times of need.
Yes. Not an obligation but it’s necessary for our growth together as one body in Christ Jesus. It’s now a relationship. It’s just like Family gatherings. To chill in God’s Presence. Dance, listen to His word full of love and fellowship together.
Yes. Never forsake the assembly of the brethren
What does the bible say about attending church?
I think we can all agree that it is okay to pattern our faith after the early church. We can look at what they did and agree that it is an acceptable way to practice the Christian faith. The Bible spoke about the church being built on the doctrines of the apostles. Of course keeping in mind the progression in knowledge (there were things the apostles stopped doing over time as their knowledge grew, but that’s beside the point here).
1. Every time we see people get saved, they immediately joined the church.
“So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.” — Acts 2:41-42
Imagine Peter preaching to a crowd of different people from different nations and cultures during the festival of Pentecost in Act 2. The verse above made us realize that those who received the message were added to “them”.
Who are the them?
“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem — a Sabbath day’s journey away. When they arrived, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. All these were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers. During these days Peter stood up among the brothers — the number of people who were together was about 120 — and said:”
— Acts 1:12-15
The followers of Jesus according the instruction of Jesus were together up until the day of Pentecost.
So these people that believed after Jesus preached joined these 120 believers.
And that became the culture of the church from then.
“So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.”
— Acts 2:41-42
“Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude,”
— Acts 2:46
So it is accurate to say that there was no sign of self-help in the early church. No one got saved and stayed on their own.There was no sign of self-help in the early church. No one got saved and stayed on their own. Click To Tweet
2. More than half of the New Testament was written to churches.
Most of the epistles were written to churches. Romans to the church in Rome, 1 & 2 Corinthians was to the church in Corinth, Ephesians to the church in Ephesus, Philippians to the church in Philipi, and so on.
If most of the New Testament books were written to churches, then it is right to conclude that that was the model the early church followed.
And the letters gave a good insight into what the churches were like. Take for instance, Paul in Colossians.
“When this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And tell Archippus, “Pay attention to the ministry you have received in the Lord, so that you can accomplish it.”” — Colossians 4:16-17
We see Paul instructs then to read the letter in some churches, then he gave a specific instruction to a member of that church by the name Archippus. Meaning Paul expects that after the letter journeys down and gets to the church, this person Archippus will still be a member of the church.If most of the New Testament books were written to churches, then it is right to conclude that that was the model the early church followed. Every Christian should belong to a particular church. Click To Tweet
3. The Bible clearly forbids not fellowshipping with other believers
“And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” — Hebrews 10:24-25
The verse above is as direct as it could be- do not stay away from your worship meetings as some habitually do.
Don’t be that person who has the habit of not going to church.
The verse above isn’t referring to a fellowship like an online community or a WhatsApp group. Because we see 3 chapters after in Hebrews 13:17 where we see that we are to submit to a spiritual leader; “Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God.“.Do not stay away from your worship meetings as some habitually do - Heb 10:25 . Don't be that person who has the habit of not going to church. Click To Tweet
It is very important to understand that the church is your new family the moment you become saved. Remember, you were adopted as God’s child. If you become adopted, you legally become part of that family, and with being part of a family means having new family members where you without much choice become a part of each other’s life.The church is your new family the moment you become saved Click To Tweet
Having said all that;
What do I do when I have had a bad experience with the church?
It is unfortunate that we have things in the church that aren’t an image of Christ. But the early church had many cases of false teachers or rebellious leaders and members. Paul’s second letter to Timothy was hugely on this.
So it is okay to conclude that we will always have Judases in the church. But that shouldn’t make you leave church. You might just need to find the right church. Read more here; Choosing the Right Church
Seeing this is a long post already, here are other articles on this topic that will really help.