As we live in a broken world, it’s urgent for believers to ask themselves, “Why do we go to church?” Is it for meeting people? Is it for chatting with folks? Is it for something to do, only so that it can be added to a plethora of other activities?
While still a child, I had different reasons to attend church: being with friends; playing music; participating in plays to name several. My parents used to go to church with me. In fact, I went every Sunday to church as well as on Monday and Wednesday nights and Saturday. I was involved with a group named “Citizen of the City Celeste”. The C.C.C was a youth group. We learned songs, Bible verses, Bible studies, played games along with activities to help me learn about such things as how to make knots, fix a tent, and other things.
At that time, I never questioned why I went to church. For the most part, it was fun because I was with friends. More than that, my excitement for Sunday school was about being taught the Scriptures and learning missionary stories, like “little Kinza” a story that I could never forget of a young girl who lived in Africa. In my primary school, an evangelical school, we used to prepare for holiday events like Christmas and Easter. Everything stood in relation to the Bible including songs and plays.
Much later when in secondary school, again an evangelical school, each Friday, before class, all students would gather in the amphitheatre to attend a presentation. It was more like a contest. We prepared an evangelical program with gospel songs, a gospel theatre play, and a few minutes of preaching. It was really fun and I played guitar with the group. I truly enjoyed those times.
From what has been said so far is it reason enough to attend Church?
Some might say yes, others no. In my opinion, the best way is to think through what the Bible has to teach us about the real basis for going to church.
Before going any further, let’s see how the Bible defines the church. In the Bible the word church is used in different ways. First of all, as the body of Christ, the church is often defined as a local assembly or group of believers (1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1-2). Second, it is defined as the body of individual believers (1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13). Finally, it is defined as a universal group of people who have trusted Christ through the ages (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 5:23-27). From these verses we can clearly see that for believers church is not optional, but an obligation.
Many passages in the Bible explain why believers should go to church. In the following text, I’m going to underline seven important reasons that support going to church.
First, we must go to church to be together, to encourage one another, fellowship, and pray. (Hebrew 10: 25; Acts 2:42; Acts 9:31; Matthew 16:18)
Second, we must go to church to be in the presence of God. God is among us; by whom we can seek His Kingdom. (Matthew 18:20; Matthew 6:33)
Third, we must go to church to know and praise God. (Colossians 3:16; James 1:22)
Fourth, we must go to church to grow our faith in Christ. (Romans 10:17)
Fifth, we must go to church for Christian ministry. (Ephesians 4:12)
Sixth, we must go to church to be prepared for service. (2 Timothy 4:2)
Seventh, we must go to church to share the gospel. (Matthew 28:19)
In my opinion, the church is a place for encouragement, strengthening, inspiration, forgiveness, hope, and fellowship. The church may not always be what it should be and while we do live in difficult times, my prayer is to see believers in church and live like real brothers and sisters; because church is a family, the real family, the family of God.