Is Going to Church Really Necessary?

🌺  Written by Brittany Ann

 Is Going to Church Really Necessary?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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  1. Having grown up as a Preacher’s daughter, I pretty much take for granted being in Church on a Sunday morning. When the doors were open, we were there. This is normal for me, and I don’t do it out of a sense of obligation. I was amazed to receive an invitation recently for a baby shower at 10:30 on a Sunday morning. I realize not everyone shares my values, but I was still surprised.

    1. I’m the same way. I don’t even think about it. If it’s Sunday morning, it’s church time. There are a few Sundays we miss here and there, but I don’t like to.

    1. Thanks, Kendra. I think knowing well ahead of time really helps too. It’s easier to get everything done ahead of time and get enough sleep when you know that Sunday morning is already blocked off for church.

  2. I completely agree with this! I don’t know where I’d be without my Sunday mornings at church. It is easy to sit and relax at home but so refreshing to raise your hands in praise with others!!

    1. I agree. I can definitely tell a difference when I miss a week or when I go to a different church than usual. It’s crazy how just one hour a week can really change your entire week! Totally worth the hassle.

    2. It’s amazing to me how more time we have on Sunday when start the day with Sunday School and Church Service. I don’t know why it seems that way’ it just does? IN other words, it works for me!Yes I do!

  3. This ends the debate for me! No more staying home for church. Thanks for putting it back into focus and reaffirming why I need to physically go to church on Sundays.

      1. I haven’t been feeling up to being around people, so I’ve been staying home the last two weeks. I’ll watch Dr. Jeremiah and Dr. Stanley and take notes that way. I’m going to head back to church this weekend though.

  4. Brittany, This is a great post. Great points backed by scriptural references. Church and Sunday School is a given in our family. Although I agree that anyone who asked this question is being selfish, there are some people have not had positive experiences in churches. When we talk to people like that, we can try to encourage them to find a church that fits them instead of abandoning the whole idea of going to church.We can invite them to our church or help them find one that is a good fit for them. When I talk scripture Hebrew 10:25 that you mentioned above is always a good starting point We have to keep planting seeds.

    Thanks so much for writing this.

    1. Thanks, Erica 🙂 I don’t think people are *always* being selfish. It is a legitimate question, especially for people who have never really been connected to a church family. But the answer is still the same–we need church and the church needs us! It’s really a beautiful relationship when everything works out right!

  5. I love this post. I’m guilty of sometimes wanting to sleep in on Sunday; however, I remember the ways I am refreshed in His Holy Spirit when I attend church, and so I get up and go! I grew up with a wonderful church family, and I knew as an adult 400 miles from the town where I grew up I needed to find a new church family for myself and for my husband and children.I’m so thankful I did.

    Matthew 18:20 always comes to mind when I think of getting together with others. I know He’s with us always, but to come together with other believers and feel the magnitude of God’s presence. Wow!

  6. God loves us even if we don’t go to church, but we get so much more out of God if we do go. I’m having a hard time because I don’t LOVE the church I’m currently going to. I used to go to a church where I really felt moved every single week. I served in the children’s ministry every week, too, before going to service. I don’t live in that state anymore and I find myself comparing everything to that one church. I know it’s not all about me and that nothing will ever be EXACTLY the way it was…yet, still I struggle. Thank you, Brittany, for sharing your reasons on why church is necessary!

    1. Oh, Laura, I’m in the same exact situation. I don’t want to say anything bad about my current church–it’s lovely–but I LOVED the last church we went to too. We switched churches a lot growing up, and this last church was the first church where I really understood why someone would want to be a member. I was very involved. It was like a family. And now… we’re somewhere else. So I get it 🙂 Hope this post encourages you to stick it out.

  7. If you see the trend of church shopping, “loving a church” means we are sometimes putting too much on the church than we are putting on ourselves. Meaning we are looking in the wrong direction. We should look inward at our attitude. We can get very ego-centric when at church. My step son was too preoccupied with the notion that people were looking at him. I said you should be looking forward at the altar. Yes, if you are at a church that is not doctrinally sound, takes a vote on what is a sin, you must, must, must get out. Church gatherings also become a gossip fest. But worship should remain simple yet beautiful. You and your Lord. If you are Catholic, all masses should be the same unless the priest is veering off from GERM. I can’t speak to other denominations since I am Catholic, but if God is nudging you away from your church because it is not helping you maintain a strong Christian stance, then listen quietly to the holy spirit. It may be time to seek a real church home. I’m not doing as much as I can in terms of time and talent at my parish. I am worshiping and going home. Praying for a vocation where I am helping my fellow Christians. It takes work and faith….but I am struggling with finding my place.

    1. I haven’t been to very many Catholic parishes, but I definitely noticed that the ones I went to were pretty much exactly the same thing. Among Protestant churches there is A LOT more variety. But I’m sure, even among Catholic churches, they must vary a great deal because of the people who are there. If they are loving or strict or what have you.

  8. Sad to say this but this article was nothing more than pure ‘religion’ and it’s teaching like this that is the real reason people stop going to church. People want to hear the good news of Jesus but instead the get a 1-hour behavior improvement sermon and maybe 5 minutes of Jesus at the end.

    I am not sure why the writer said “the bible commands us to go the church”. There is no such new testament commandment. In fact, the closest we get to that is in Hebrews 10:25 where we are ‘encouraged’ to be with other Christians (be it at a church or wherever) so that we can ENCOURAGE one another.

    Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but ENCOURAGING one another;

    But instead the church is often more interested in telling Christians they are dirty sinners and God is upset them all (which is the exact opposite of the true gospel).

    I LOVE attending church, but only when the truth of who Jesus is for us is taught and other believers love on each other. Nearly every Christian I meet that stopped going to church will say it’s because they were tired of all the religion, rules, and negative sermons about how dirty they are. Modern church sermons are 95% “you’re a bad person” messages with 5% Jesus at the end.

    If you want people to go to church, worship, serve, and give then it’s time we start talking a lot more about Jesus and who he is for us (instead of who we need to be for Him).

    We are so quick so say “the church is Gods house”. Well that’s old testament teaching. God does not live in tents, buildings or churches, but rather He live in us, and we get to exude His love moment by moment everywhere we go.

    Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;

    1. Hi, Mike! Thanks for your input. I definitely see what you’re saying about the church being too full of “religion” and that it’s not all about the rules. Unfortunately, I also think that many church-goers have become so “allergic” to religion that they’ve gone the complete opposite direction–throwing out all of the rules and commandments in favor of a wishy-washy love gospel that just makes them feel good. Truthfully, we need to find a good balance in between both.

      One thing that is worth noting is the intended audience of this blog. This blog isn’t written for people who are considering Christianity who aren’t already Christians. It’s for committed Christian women who want to grow in faith, but who need to be equipped to do so. And one of the ways you can equip people is to help them figure out the areas that they can improve on and help give them the tools they need to improve in those areas.

      Personally, I’d rather find areas I’m lacking and be given ways to fix them than just be told “you’re doing great! keep it up!” when I still have so much work to do. (Not to work for my salvation, of course, but because God deserves our best and it’s in our own best interest to give it to Him).

      Hope that makes sense!

      And, on a related note, I have another article you may be interested in if you have a second to read it. I hope you do 🙂 : Religion is Not a Dirty Word

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