Have you ever asked the question, “Is church necessary?”
Hang with me for a minute. A few months ago most churches closed their doors as the Covid-19 pandemic hit. There was/is so much uncertainty surrounding it.
For me, it was the longest time I have not attended church in the traditional sense my entire life. There wasn’t the option of getting up and going on Sunday. I got up and watched the service online like many of you. The rest of you may have been asking the question “is church necessary” way before then. The weeks turned into months of the doors being closed. Now, many churches are back to meeting depending on where you live.
So, the question is being asked, “is church really necessary?” I mean I could sleep in. I could use the extra rest after all. I could continue to watch it online. After all, there are a lot of things going on. Not to mention all of the uncertainty that is going on in the world today.
Can we just pause and acknowledge that this is an honest question that many people are asking? Better yet, have you ever asked the question, “Why go to church?”
Yes, it is absolutely necessary to go. Let’s look at four compelling reasons to go that I was reminded of during the time that we were closed to normal Sunday services.
1. Gathering together was Jesus’ idea, not ours.
Mention the church to a group of Christians and you are likely to get a mixed response. Some might say that, while they do love Jesus, they don’t love the church. Others might respond, “Of course we love the church.”
When we consider the biblical teaching on the church, we realize it is vitally important for growing in Christ. Like a branch that grows because of its connection to the tree, we thrive when we stay connected to the church. Without the connection of the branch to the tree it begins to wither quickly. How true this is. It happens so much quicker than we ever realize. I am a Pastor and have a lot of friends that are Pastors as well. We have all seen first hand how quickly this can happen during Covid.
2. An experience for the sake of those not yet in the room.
The second compelling reason to attend a Sunday morning gathering is that you’re bringing a friend with you or because you yourself are exploring Christianity.
Spiritual maturity, after all, isn’t about how much you know. It’s about how much you love and love that doesn’t flow out into the lives of other people isn’t love.
3. We are to encourage one another.
The Bible is full of “one another” commands (59 to be exact). The only place where such commands can thrive is the local church.
Yes, you can find encouragement by spending time with other Christians. However, if you are choosing who you are or are not spending time with, then you are limiting the body of Christ. The local church is full of individuals from a myriad of backgrounds and personalities, which means you will be placed in relationships that will challenge you more than the friends you select to be with.
4. You don’t attend church. You are the church.
The main reason I gather with the church is because I am the church.
It is not a place we go to or an event we attend — it’s a spiritual family.
I think being the church has something to do with living your life for Christ, demonstrating God’s love by serving others and sharing your faith with people. That’s very different than consuming church in a back row, which you can just as easily do on your back deck or in your living room.
As more and more begin to open and more and more people ask the question, “Is church necessary?” Remember this…The answer is yes, the it is absolutely necessary.
You are the church. Remember that. And the church is at it’s best when we engage in the mission God has given us. To participate in God’s work on earth, you must be connected with a local church.