How important is it that we attend church? This is a question that many Christians have debated over the years. And there seems to be only extremes to this argument. Either church is not important, and it doesn’t need to be regarded as a commandment, or you need to be there every time the doors are open. Well my point of view is this: Church is important, and we need to be there, but it is not such a commandment in which we will die if we don’t obey it. By looking at just what Scripture says we can decide for ourselves what we ought to believe on this subject.
The first thing we need to discuss, is the matter of why we go to church. There are many reasons why we should and do attend. Fellowship, Worship, Lord’s Supper, and a Bible study. These are a few of the basic reasons why I attend and I’ll explain why as we go along. First off, fellowship. We need to attend church to have fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. As 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” We need to encourage each other, and we can very easily do that if we attend church. Hebrews 10:25 also says, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Paul specifically states not giving up their “meeting together”, and where do we today “meet together”? At our local congregation, a church. The importance of doing things together as a group can influence many people.
Worship is one of the main reasons we should go to church. Why? Because Almighty God is worthy of your worship. When we sing songs to God, we’re worshipping him, we’re praising His glorious name. So many times in the bible we see the command to praise Him, Psalm 95:6, Isaiah 12:5, Luke 4:8, Hebrews 13:15, etc. We know this is an important part of our lives as Christians based purely on the fact of how many times we see it mentioned in His Word. One of the classic examples of worshipping today we have in Scriptures is Ephesians 5:19. Which says, “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,” Now whether or not this points to no instrumental music in worship, does not concern us at this point. All we see, is the commandment to worship God with songs and with our heart. Along with this verse is Colossians 3:16, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” The way we are to worship is with our hearts, being happy and cheerful while doing it. Another reason to attend church.
Another reason we ought to go is to partake of the Lord’s Supper. This is one of the main reasons I go, and along with the others, it’s a commandment from the Lord our God. We partake of the supper to remember Christ’s death and the sacrifice that was made on our behalf. It’s a moment when we focus our minds on that gruesome, but powerful day in our salvation. The account of Jesus and his disciples partaking in it can be found in all four Gospels. Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:7-22; and John 13:21-30. But the apostle Paul noted some very interesting things about the Lord’s supper that was not mentioned in the Gospels. One of them can be found in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” We do it to remember and to proclaim that sacrifice. They also did it with their fellow brethren and when we do it church we do that same exact thing. And what a wonderful blessing that is. This is, to me, the most powerful reason to attend.
Lastly, but certainly not least, we have the bible study. More commonly known as “the sermon.” This is also another important part of the worship service and should be regarded just as highly. The only way we can know God is by reading and studying his Word. And when a person brings that Word to a group of people it can be even more effective because they are hearing the Word from another human. In Mark 16:15 Jesus told the disciples to preach the gospel to all creation. A command to the disciples. A commandment for us. Psalm 25:4-5 proclaims, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” David wanted to know God more, and so should we. We need to have that same desire, the same passion to learn more about God, and what we’re supposed to do. And when we are teached his Word, it is an amazing blessing.
So taking all of what was mentioned above, we should go to church. It provides many opportunities to accomplish the things we are told to do. If you have a job to go to, and you will get fired if you don’t go, then that’s a totally different story altogether. But, we need to attend and be rest assured Jesus is there in Spirit with us, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”- Matthew 18:20