“Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.” – Dwight L. Moody
How do you feel about church? Some people think it is full of hypocrites? Others, view it as a self-righteous, religious club. There is some truth to both those accusations. After all, churches are made up of people, and people are not perfect. Imperfect people make for imperfect churches. The church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints. It’s a place where people go to improve their spiritual health. It’s a place where people go for encouragement, and to get their spiritual batteries recharged. For newer Christians, it is a place where they learn what it means to follow Christ and how to have a relationship with God.
There was a time in America when the church was the focal point of a community’s culture and calendar. Families would make it a priority to attend church services and functions almost every time the church’s “doors were open.” Sundays featured several hours of church programming. The day started with age-segregated Sunday school classes, followed by the church’s morning worship service. Sunday evening culminated in an evening service. Most churches also hosted mid-week services, like prayer meetings in the church auditorium where everybody got together to pray.
Times have certainly changed, due to a variety of reasons. But what has not changed is the critical importance of going to church. Why? The most important reason for God’s people to attend church is that the church is God’s idea, “… upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18).
The church is how God is accomplishing His work on earth today. The Bible is clear, from the narrative in Acts through the Epistles of Paul, Peter, James, and John, that God’s work in the world today is being completed through His church. One only has to review the words God uses to describe His church to get a glimpse of how important it is to Him: the bride of Christ, the body of Christ.
In addition, God’s Word instructs us to be involved in the church. It’s clear from passages like Hebrews 10:25 that God wants His people to be actively involved in the church. “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another,…” Reading the Bible makes it pretty obvious that church involvement is important.
God’s Word teaches the importance of active participation in a local church. Believers must make church attendance a priority in their personal and family schedules and put going to church ahead of other seemingly beneficial activities.
- Someone once said, “Church is something we are.” What does that mean to you?
- How might your life look different if you lived as though church wasn’t a destination or an event, but something you are?