Church attendance and fellowship have often been in question over the years and have sparked many studies and questions. How often should we go to church? How important is fellowship? The question, “How often should we go to church?”, is asked quite frequently and is a question that should not be ignored. However, the best way to answer this question is to look at the importance of fellowship. When we see the importance of fellowship, the question of “how often?” becomes clear. Let’s begin this study and answer these vital questions.
First off, we must have a clear definition of the word fellowship. Fellowship can be described as having association or relationship among people. Anywhere where people get together who have some sort of relationship to one another can also be described as a fellowship. In our case, church would be a place where fellowship happens. So let’s see what the Bible says about church and fellowship.
One thing that is very clear throughout Scripture is the fact that meeting together, or fellowship is important for many reasons. One of those reasons is to encourage each other and build one another up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” Being with fellow believers strengthens our faith, it refreshes our minds and our spirits after living in such a dark world for a period of time. It is very difficult to encourage someone or build someone else up who is not in your presence.
Hebrews 10:24-25 makes this more clear when it says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Here we see a warning not to neglect meeting together, and why is that? When there is no meeting together, there is no encouragement, and where there is no encouragement, there is falling away. Paul clarifies the need to be in each other’s presence in his opening statements to the Romans. Romans 1:11-12 says, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you-that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” Paul had to go see them in person not only to impart the spiritual gifts, but to be an encouragement to them, as well as they being an encouragement to him. Just writing letters to them wasn’t good enough. He had to see them in person. We should look at this as an example for us to long to be with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Fellowship is so important it was mentioned as one of the four things the believers devoted themselves to. Acts 2:42 tells us, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” They knew fellowship was vital to their faith and we should devote ourselves to do the same.
Not only is fellowship important, it is powerful. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” How awesome is that? When just two or three of us are gathered in the name of Jesus Christ, he is with us, he is among us in that moment and the whole time we’re gathered together. That is the power behind gathering together. Jesus is with those who gather in His name, and all the glory is due Him.
So in conclusion, we see just how important fellowship is. It encourages us, it builds us up, it strengthens our faith, and Jesus is there among us. So to answer the question, “How often should we meet together?”, the answer is this, as often as we can.