Attending church is one of the practices that underpin Christianity as a religion. Much like other articles of faith, little goes in the way of discussing whether going to church is merely a customary tradition or the Bible actually demands it.
Some Christians have increasingly become disillusioned with the practice to an extent that some of them have devoted their energies looking for answers in technology and digital churches. However, the question remains, what is the biblical stand on church attendance? This article looks at a few passages and the lessons that can be drawn from them. Read on to learn more on what the Bible says about going to church.
Meeting Together As Believers
In the book of Apostle Paul writing to the Hebrews as recorded in Hebrews 10:25, Paul writes the following:
“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.” (NIV)
This is the number one reason Christians should find a Bible-believing church. It emphasizes the need for a relationship among believers as all are one body in Christ. The church plays a crucial role as the place where believers come together to inspire and encourage one another.
A Sense Of Belonging
Writing to the Romans, Paul laid emphasis on the act of meeting together in a church setting because Christians are part of one family, and they belong to each other.
“…so in Christ we, though many, form one body and each member belongs to all the others.” (NIV)
It is to the benefit of individual Christians that they meet together. In doing so, they grow in faith, love, service, and in full realization of their Christian gifts.
Growth In Character
Spiritual growth is epitomized by how close in character a believer is to the model of Jesus Christ. According to the Bible, spiritual growth comes as a result of interaction with other Christians. In the book of Ephesians 4:2, the Bible records:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (NIV)
The relationship with the body of Christ through church attendance is one of the practical ways in which Christians can learn and practice gentleness, humility, and patience. All these work towards the development of a Christ-like character.
In the first epistle of Peter, the disciple, and in the book of Hebrews, both Paul and Peter highlight the importance of leadership in a church context to give spiritual protection to the members.
1st Peter 5:1-4
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. (NIV)
Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. (NIV)
Our placement in the body of Christ is for our own blessing and protection. Christians don’t have to feel warm and fuzzy because relations may not always be fun. However, as part of one body, Christians are instructed to relate with their church authority in the form of elders and leaders so that they can be safe.
If you need one more reason why you should attend church or on what the Bible says about going to church, think for a moment about the lifestyle of Jesus. Throughout his mission around the Sea of Galilee, He used to enter into synagogues for worship. In Luke 4:16, we see Jesus going into His hometown in Nazareth where He enters into a synagogue for the sabbath worship.
“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day, he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,” (NIV)
That being said, the best church is a biblically balanced and Christ-centered church. No two churches are similar and you will find a lot of imperfections because churches are full of people with flaws just you and me.
Would you like to learn something more about the symbols in the Bible? Read our piece on hard work meaning in the Bible.