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Why Is Attending Church Services Important?
March 3, 2019, 9:31 AM

Why is attending Church important? This question has sometimes been directly posed to me.  At other times, it has been implied in statements made by some that attending Church services are not really important for a Christians’ relationship with God. “I can worship God by myself”, some say!  This is true, of course!  Yet, it does not give the full picture concerning the necessity of church attendance.

The truth is that when Christians gather together, on the Lord’s Day and at other times, it is for the important purposes of worship, instruction, fellowship, encouragement, and the mutual edification of each other.  Sometimes, it may even be for the purpose of encouraging repentance from sin and/or carrying out church discipline.  

When a person gives his or her life to Christ, they are indwelled by the Holy Spirit and placed into the Body of Christ.  Moreover, there is also a local expression of this Body to which a Christian belongs. God gives him or her a Pastor (under-shepherd) and/or elders who are charged with the caring, feeding and leading of God’s People (the local congregation). We are also given spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of glorifying God and edifying His Church (beginning with the local congregation).  To accomplish this, we must be gathered together and in fellowship with our brothers and sisters of the local congregation, to which we have been placed!

Obviously, this means that we cannot simply be self-centered. There must be a mutuality, a “one-another-ness”.  It cannot simply be an attempt to get “what I like” or to view church attendance as “I’m just coming to get a Word”.  This kind of thinking and expression reveals a one-sided, privatized understanding of Christianity. It also denies the reality of the corporate relationship in the Body of Church. After all, the Church is, as the Scripture reveals, made up of “many members but one Body”!  The result is that this kind of thinking and expression may lead to a lack of commitment to regular church attendance and/or substantive involvement in the life of the Church. It also may lead to the dangerous practice of “church-hopping” and “church-shopping”, looking for that elusive Church that caters to our self-centered desires.  The consumer mindset that has so permeated our culture has often had a destructive effect on some Christians understanding of the Body relationship that God intended to exist in His Church.

The Holy Spirit counters our natural tendencies toward self-centeredness through His Word, Spirit, and our attendance and involvement in our local Church. These means of grace help to shape us into Christ-likeness and greatly encourages our brothers and sisters in their relationship with Christ!  So, you see, church membership, regular attendance and involvement is an essential part of your relationship with Christ (the Head) and His Church (His Body)!

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