Sunday morning rolls around and you are faced with two choices: You can get up, get ready, get the kids ready and go to church, or you can sleep in and enjoy a lazy Sunday at home. After a busy week of working, cooking, cleaning and shuttling kids around, staying home in your pajamas sounds pretty awesome, and besides–you can always catch a TV preacher, right? So… is going to church really necessary?
Yes. Actually GOING to church IS necessary. Here are six reasons why.
1. The Bible Commands Us to Do It
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 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.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Contrary to popular belief, the Bible isn’t a super old book that is full of rules designed to take the fun out of life. If the Bible commands or encourages us to do something, it is for our own good. God’s plan for us is for us to meet together regularly.
2. We Benefit from Living in Community
“All the believers were together and had everything in common.” –Acts 2:44
The world’s way of doing things is vastly different than God’s way of doing things. The world says “look out for number one;” God says “put others first.” The world says “Do what it takes to get ahead, even if you have to step on others along the way;” God says “humble yourself.” It should come as no surprise, then, that when you take a stand for doing things God’s way, you will often stand alone. And going it alone is HARD.
Maybe you have strong willpower and you don’t care what other people think, but most people prefer to be liked and fit in. Living in community lets us know that we aren’t alone, and that we aren’t “weird.” This is our normal, and we can be proud of it–even if it makes us different, and even if it’s hard.
3. We Are Called to Serve
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” –1 Peter 4:10
It takes a lot of volunteers to keep a church running. Churches need people willing to hold babies in the nursery, supervise youth group activities, lead small groups, greet new people, set out coffee and donuts, and do 100 other tasks that help churches fulfill their missions. Plus, you never know what new person might sit in front of you next week who might need your warm smile, friendly handshake or word of encouragement. When you skip out, they miss out, and as a fellow believer, you have an obligation.
4. Regular Attendance Keeps Us Accountable
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
When you start attending church regularly and you start building relationships with other people there, these relationships often lead to accountability. Even if you don’t have an official accountability partner, you know that if you miss church, people will notice. If something seems off in your life, people will notice. If you are lucky enough to have strong friendships with other church members, they can help pull you back in the right direction and keep you from heading on the path of destruction.
5. We are Less Distracted
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” –1 Peter 5:8
So maybe you are able to sit down, watch a TV preacher and really pay attention and worship. But let me tell you what would happen in our house: We would turn it on. The boys would play quietly for about 30 seconds, then start pestering each other, then need 100 things, one right after the other. They would talk the whole time. I would probably get on Facebook or try to clean something or think about my to-do list. We would be in “home mode,” and we would be distracted.
That is why it is so important to dedicate one hour a week (or more!) to set aside all distractions and turn our eyes on Jesus alone. When we go to church, we put off all distractions and we focus. Nolan knows better than to act up in church, and we usually have something to keep baby entertained. Church time is for church, nothing else.
6. It Clearly Demonstrates Our Priorities
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” –Luke 12:34
How many hours a week do you spend working? How many hours do you spend cleaning? What about watching TV? Now, how many hours a week do you set aside for Jesus?
It doesn’t matter how busy or tired you are. If you can’t find one hour for God on the weekends, your priorities are out of line. The laundry can wait–it’s obviously not going anywhere. God deserves the best hour of your week, not whatever time you may or may not have left over. If you don’t have one single hour, then it’s time to examine your priorities and make some readjustments.
It all Comes Down To Our Motivation
Honestly, I think the question “Do I really need to go to church” is rooted in selfishness. When we ask it, we aren’t thinking about others or about God, but about our own comfort and convenience.
But church isn’t supposed to be about us. Sure, we can get something out of it while we are there, but church isn’t about us. It’s for us to worship God, get equipped and serve others. Are there other ways to do that? Sure. But that’s like saying your marriage would be just as good if you just talked on the phone occasionally instead of hanging out in person. You wouldn’t do that to your marriage, and you shouldn’t do that to God.
Do you make church a priority? Why or why not? How can you make it more of a priority if you don’t already?
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