5 Reason Why Church Attendance is Important
"Don't forsake the assembling of yourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day drawing near" - Hebrews 10:25
So why is it important to attend a church? Why is it important to attend a church in 2021? I mean, haven't we "graduated" past the need to attend church in this digital culture? Sermons can be streamed by the thousands via YouTube, Facebook, websites and podcasts. Modern Christians have thousands upon thousands of Bible resources at their fingertips, so why bother with church attendance in today's society?
These are good and legitimate questions. I'm not writing this article from a perspective of bitterness, anger or much frustration. As a pastor, I have seen attendance ebb and flow for years and the pragmatic side of me sees the legitimacy of online resources to the modern day Christian. I'm also writing from the perspective of pastoring a growing church. Our church is growing numerically in fantastic ways and I'm thankful for the joy and excitement we've experienced in the last season of ministry.
But for all the pragmatic reasons for church attendance, this isn't meant to be a pragmatic article, rather a biblical one. As I read and look at the Scriptures, it's my sense that church attendance is essential because the Bible says it is. Christians for centuries have viewed church attendance as essential to live out their Christianity in real ways. Hear me clearly, church attendance does not save your soul, but it does help your soul grow in ways that cannot be duplicated on your own. So here are five biblical reasons to attend church and why it is important in this digital age. There are many more reasons than these but I want to infuse these essentials in your brain for now:
1 - We need a Relational Community - And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. - Acts 2:46-47
The early church thrived in relational community together as they attended temple services (big gatherings) and bible studies at their homes (small gatherings). We need healthy and thriving relationships! As Christians, we need a relational community we can trust and rely on as we navigate life's blessings and trials. God did not wire us to walk alone and though the church is not perfect, it is the source of life's greatest blessings, connecting the souls of men and women together in community.
2 - We need Soul Refreshment - I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people. - 1 Corinthians 16:17-18
Paul lists these three Christians as those who refreshed his spirit and the church at Corinth. Attending church is meant to refresh the souls of those who attend! A healthy church is filled with people who refresh one another. I don't know how many times in my own Christian life, I have gone to church out of dutiful obedience and have returned completely refreshed in my soul by the Word or by a brother or sister in Christ. You never know when God is going to show up in your life and refresh your soul...attending church puts you in a good place to receive the blessing of soul refreshment.
3 - We need to hear the Bible Preached - And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching - Acts 2:42
The early church was devoted to hearing the Bible preached. Christians gathered often to hear the Word of God preached, taught and explained and thus, that tradition has continued for two thousand years. Oh how we need to hear the Bible preached in person by a preacher! As modern Christians, we need to sit under the instruction of God's Word as our society becomes more secular and biblically illiterate. God will use His preached word in phenomenal ways (whether your pastor is a good preacher or not) because it's the Word that changes our lives if we have ears to hear it.
4 - We need Accountability - Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently...Carry each other’s burdens - Galatians 6:1-2
Let's face it, every believer stumbles in their Christian walk and struggles with sin. Every Christian needs the voices of other, Bible-centered friends, who can speak truth into their blind spots. Attending a local church puts you in regular contact with people who can know your story, identify with you when you struggle, and lovingly bring you back to Jesus when you are straying. Without the grace of accountability, all sinners (including confessing Christians) will drift away from Jesus. Attending church consistently keeps you accountable to those who love you and know you well. Whether you feel like it or not, being accountable to Jesus with your attendance will result in great blessing.
5 - We need Exercise - Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. - 1 Corinthians 12:27
The church is the body of Christ and every Christian has been given spiritual gifts by Jesus to be used in church. Every Christian has amazing spiritual gifts to exercise and consistent church attendance allows believers to see where their gifts may best be used. Church is about so much more than filling a seat or giving a financial tithe. Church is about being activated to use the gifts God has given you and consistent attendance is a key part of unlocking your gifts and how God wants to use them.