Are you looking for someone to explain why Christians need to be in church? Want to know the reasons why worshiping at home, reading your study Bible, and praying alone is not enough? I am here to answer your questions surrounding the “I don’t need the church to worship” attitude.
When I was able to go to church every Sunday, I always came home feeling encouraged and renewed. There is just something about worshiping God with others. The Spirit of the Lord fills each believer’s heart as we shout out our praises to God.
Of course, this type of worship isn’t the same with church streaming into my office at home. Singing out loud by myself while the dog gives me that clueless look can be uplifting, and I do this often. But worshiping God by myself is not nearly as powerful as singing with a group.
This post will attempt to explain why I believe the statement, “Christians don’t need to go to church,” is a lie.
What are the excuses not to go to church?
Although worshiping God is an ongoing activity that is not exclusive to Sunday morning church attendance, there is a danger of listening to the lie that Christians don’t need to go to church.
But I understand the argument. I have made plenty of excuses myself over the years. So, what are the excuses that we use to stay in bed Sunday morning? I’m sure there are many, but I have listed three.
1. I can worship anywhere.
“I can worship anywhere” used to be an all-time favorite phrase of mine. Until, of course, I started hearing others repeat it. There is just something about realizing the error of your ways when someone throws your words back in your face!
Now that I have made church a priority in my life again, I understand what it means to feel the presence of Jesus when worshiping with others. Praising God with others is one thing I have missed through this pandemic and something that I cannot wait to do again. What a difference singing praises with others make.
2. I have a study Bible.
Another good phrase I have had thrown in my face; “I have my study Bible. I don’t need to hear it preached.” Here are some questions that we can ask ourselves.
Have we heard the Bible preached to us, or did we pick the Bible up and study it independently? If we have never heard the word of God taught, how do we know if what we are teaching ourselves is accurate? Do we know who wrote the commentaries to see if we can trust what they are saying? And the most critical question, are we even reading our study Bible?
3. I say my prayers.
There were certain times when I did not make church attendance a priority, which was also the times that I did not make God a priority. Saying a prayer here and there when times are tough is not the kind of prayer that God requires. But I spent a lot of years praying only in the moments of trials in my life. With this attitude, praying for others is far from our way of thinking, but God requires it.
Is church essential in the Bible?
I am grateful that the women’s Bible study group I belong to has still been able to find a way to meet every week. Even though it is a virtual meeting, it has been the only time of fellowship that I have been able to have last year.
It has been a time of blessing, sharing, prayer, and a time filled with laughter and tears. We are learning and growing in Jesus as we share His word.
This encouragement and building up each other are what the Bible talks of as required for the Church body. The Bible speaks of the importance of the church in the life of a believer; I will list a few.
1. What does worship require?
In Hebrews 10:24-25, we read that we are to worship together and encourage one another. If God says this is important for us to do, and we want to do what God says is important, why don’t we go to church?
Several passages in the Bible point to building up and encouraging one another. If we do not go to church, who are we building up? Who encourages us?
2. What does owning a study Bible require?
It is good to have a study Bible. I have several! We need to seek God daily since he deserves all of our attention, and we need His direction for everything we do. The best way to know God and what He desires of us is to study His word.
We need to be doing that regularly, if not every day. But studying the Bible is done in addition to hearing the word of God preached. Even the Apostles didn’t follow Jesus until they had heard Him preach for a while.
“So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17, ESV).
Take your study Bible to Church because we need to hear the word of God preached, and so do our loved ones who have never heard. Take them with you!
3. When are prayers required?
Of course, let’s not forget to pray. We are told in the Bible to pray constantly. So, this is not something that requires Church attendance. But praying with others does.
In Matthew 18:20, we read when people gather, Jesus is present. Wow! No wonder there is power in groups of Christians praying together.
I cannot wait until I can be back in church and worship God with others as one body. But until then, I can be thankful for the encouragement from my Bible study friends!