Is Going To Church Really That Important?
Have you ever heard anyone say anything like this?...
“I don’t need church, nothing they can offer me there that I can’t just get from reading my Bible at home.”
“I don’t like when pastors talk about something they did that was good. It just seems like they’re showing off or making it about them.”
“ Why should I go to a church when I am a part of THE CHURCH?”
Unfortunately, in casual conversation about church I have heard all of these statements more often than I care to mention. While there might be a bit of truth in each of them that many would agree with, they are still very unhealthy mindsets.
Why are they unhealthy?
Because they can become excuses for NOT going to church.
Why is going to a building to hear some guy talk for an hour about Scripture that I have already read so important?
Well when you phrase it like that it doesn’t sound like it makes a difference, but that’s not all church is! Please hear me when I tell you that plugging into a local church is supremely important to a Christian at any stage in their faith.
Don’t believe me?
Let’s take a look at what Scripture says about gathering with the body of believers and break it all down to three important points.
We go to church to:
So let’s start with number 1: ENCOURAGEMENT ~
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
So how do you expect to stay salty? I would assume by submerging yourself in salt? Where do you find salt? You can see where I am going with this. Here’s another analogy…
Imagine a fire pit that holds several pieces of charcoal. They are glowing red from the heat. Now, one piece of charcoal is removed from the fire and set aside. What happens? The charcoal might stay hot and smoke for a bit, but then after a minute or two the ember begins to die. Why? Because it’s separated from the heat that keeps it going. So how do you save the dying ember? Put it back in the fire!
Attending a church, getting involved in a group of gathered believers, connecting with them, and growing with them, this is our fire! God created humans to long for companionship and relationship not just with Him but with each other. We need one another!
Moving onto number 2: ACCOUNTABILITY ~
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
Did you know that if someone wants to intern as a tattoo artist, they are not to practice on their own? If they practiced on their own before receiving instruction, no parler will take them as an intern. Why? Because they have practiced without guidance and may have picked up bad habits that are very hard to break since they were not pointed out early on. No one was there to show what is a mistake and what is not.
Here’s the connection to that. We can learn bad habits (misinterpreting scripture, taking away incorrect meaning, settling for what we want to hear vs. what we need to hear, etc) when we teach ourselves exclusively. If we don’t allow others to pour their wisdom from what God has shown them into us, how are we supposed to realize when we have made a mistake? Accountability is an important piece in every area of our faith. We need to surround ourselves with the right people who will help us grow and same thing the other way around, there is someone that you are to keep accountable as well. It works both ways and is mutually beneficial!
And finally number 3: EXAMPLES ~
“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”
I know it’s kind of annoying sometimes when a pastor shares stories about them handling a situation really well or doing something really good because God said they should. But let me ask you this, would you rather them share a story that doesn’t set an example we should be following?
Listen, half of the sermon you receive from your pastor doesn’t take place on the platform. It takes place in how they treat people, how they respond to situations, and how they go through their day. It’s important to take note of how fast they are to humble themselves, submit to repentance with God, and pursue reconciliation with people when they mess up. Are sermons important? YES! Because they give you a new perspective. God speaks to you in your personal time with Him but might have something to show you through what He has spoken to someone else. God uses others to show us and teach us. But just remember, where you will learn the most from your pastor about living life for Christ is in their everyday actions.
Please understand that I am not putting your pastor on a pedestal or suggesting you do that, they are human and they are far from perfect. Your pastor is someone you can look to but should never be allowed to block the view of the Father. They are not to be put in place of God but rather have been put in place by God to set an example of what life lived in relationship with Christ and servanthood to Him should look like. They have been called to that position by God for your benefit. Respect them, connect with them and walk with them.
I was taught from a young age what it meant to have a personal relationship with Christ and have been plugged into many amazing ministries and churches that played a major role in my development as a believer. I was blessed enough to have both a strong connection to my church family where I was held accountable in many different ways, but I also was able to see first hand the life of a pastor on and off the platform. My dad taught me most of the lessons which shaped who I am and how I interact with others by simply living out the words that he preached. He set the example that I needed to see in our day to day life. I will always be thankful for him being who God called him to be and being a part of a church that really did what the Church is supposed to do; encouraging and building up believers!
So…is going to church really that important?
I think God has been telling us YES this whole time, and not only that,
He tells us why!!!
Any other questions? No?
Alright, be blessed, get connected and have a great day!