Why should I go to church?

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
— Romans 10:17

Not too long ago I was engaged in a conversation with an individual who said they do not need to attend church because they can do it at home with their family. One bible verse was paraphrased to justify their reasoning of not going to church by stating, when two or more are gathered together is like going to church right?  That verse being used is found in Matthew 18:20 when it says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Maybe you to feel that way and occasionally attend church because you feel obligated or you don’t go at all? After all, going to church is a gathering of fellow believers to engage in joyful and meaningful songs and worship. But after going, you don’t feel anything inside and going to doesn’t measure up to your expectations. 

So, should you go to church? Local churches are not, nor ever will be ideal, because they are made up of imperfect human beings who are themselves in the process of trying to be like Christ. Or maybe going to church isn’t the problem; perhaps you have a small group of Christian friends, and just don’t feel or believe the need to attend. ? Churches are made up of fallible people, and as such often stray far from our ideal vision. Far from quitting church in such circumstances, this is precisely the time when we should stay involved. But wait — Christians are commanded to go to church, or at least meet together in fellowship, aren’t they? In Colossians 3:16 it says, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Some individuals will still be stubborn and continue to go it alone because of their belief they are strong enough. Let me use the “thinning the herd” illustration to make the case in point. Have you ever watched a National Geographic wildlife documentary about predators that seek out the weak in a herd? These predators will single out and separate the weak one from the heard where eventually the separated one is killed and devoured. Even the bible warns you of this precarious situation when it says in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” It cannot be stressed enough that lone wolf Christianity is not an option. Hebrews 10:25 couldn’t be more explicit: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Now, I get that it is much more than a building that we go to. We need to be the church, not just go to church. As believers, church attendance is of high importance. It is a place we can all come together to worship, be encouraged, and learn from God's words for spiritual growth. As a member of a church, you are a part of a body a worshipers (body of Christ). In 1 Corinthians 12:27-28 it explains the church as the Body of Christ when it says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.” The fact is that God has chosen the church to be his instrument. Ephesians 3:10 says, "This is so God's multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens."

Now, the church is not the center of God's plan—Jesus is. But the church is central to God's plan. It is the means through which God has chosen to work. May God bless you.