“Not only is Christian fellowship in a local church good for our emotional health, it is essential to our Christian commitment.
"We are to encourage one another (1Thess. 4:18, NIV), comfort one another (2 Cor. 1:3,4), and bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). Those who do not attend church regularly with fellow believers run the risk of failing in their Christian walk.
"We really do need each other. God wants us to fellowship with Him both individually and with other believers. … Paul told the Thessalonians, 'Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing' (1 Thess. 5:11). We cannot fulfill that instruction when alone.”
I spoke with a pastor recently who compared church attendance to our need for family.
He explained it to me like this: Let’s say that your son, as an infant, decided he didn't need you. And let’s say he decided it was best for him to make it out on his own…no parents, no help, no nothing.
As I think about that, I’m sure that my baby wouldn't have been able to even make it past the crib gate!
Before I was married, I had a Christian roommate who didn’t go to church, even though she had a great position in a large ministry.
She explained to me once why she didn’t go, giving me all her reasons.
And she was quite comfortable with her decision.
The last I heard of her, she was caught fornicating in the ministry’s parking lot and was fired from her job. I wonder if that would have happened if she was accountable to a strong support group of other believers.
A while back I heard a missionary speak who was headed to a country where less than one percent of the population are Christians.
Do you think that she easily found fellowship there? Were there churches on every corner – would she be invited to a spaghetti dinner or gospel fest?
I don’t think so.
She said that living in this country, people could go for a week, a month, a year, without meeting up with a fellow believer. Where she is going, they’ll be no opportunity for weekly fellowship like we have in the U.S.
Christians need church just like children need families.
Some people give up on church because of a fallen leader or a disagreement. But just like families, churches aren’t perfect.
And, if there is something biblically wrong in yours, then by all means seek God for another. But don’t give up on this important part of your Christian walk.
Who needs church? We all do.
So let's get connected and get growing!
Here are some Bible verses that'll help you on your journey:
Acts 2:42 (New American Standard Bible)
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Hebrews 13:17 (The Message)
Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?
Acts 20:28 (Amplified Bible)
Take care and be on guard for yourselves and the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you bishops and guardians, to shepherd (tend and feed and guide) the church of the Lord or of God which He obtained for Himself [buying it and saving it for Himself] with His own blood.