I’ve heard it asked many times; ‘God is everywhere, so why do we need to go to church?’
It’s a valid question and a truth that He is everywhere. But there is definitely a need as Christians to more than just attend a church, we should be a part of a church. As with all the other spiritual disciplines, this is because God has told us to and it’s good for us.
What I think is so important to remember, is that in the early days of Christianity, ‘church’ wasn’t as much to do with a building as it is today. ‘Church’ is the translation of the Greek word ‘ekklesia’, which literally means ‘the gathered’ or ‘those called out’. The building isn’t the church. All of us who are come together – we are the church!
So though this post is entitled ‘why do we go to church?’, it’s the ‘being’ that’s more important than the ‘going’.
Reading your Bible on your own is a great way to grow, but sometimes it can be tricky. That’s why God has especially gifted some of our leaders with biblical insight that they share with us in sermons on Sunday.
In previous posts, I wrote about the power of singing and praying together, and that’s something we do as ‘the gathered’ on a Sunday (or another day!). It makes an impact when we come together in unity.
Jesus prayed before He died in John 17, and He asked God that we would be united. Gathering together as church moves us closer to the unity that Jesus so wanted for us!
To encourage and be encouraged
Hebrews 10:25 tells us that we should not ‘neglect to meet together’ but do so to ‘encourage one another’! We all come together on a Sunday having had different types of weeks, some might have had really tough ones. But coming together is a chance to be encouraged, to be prayed for, to hear truth and affirming voices, which might be completely different to what you hear in the week.
Churches are often made up of young and old, families, children, single people, married couples, and it’s a great way to make friends and learn from people who aren’t like you.
To be light
As the body of Christ, we are called to the hope of the world. We are ‘the light of the world, a city on a hill’ – Matthew 5:14
Being a part of a church means you aren’t carrying the burden alone. Joining together with fellow believers to make a difference in your part of the world is super powerful and way better than trying to do it yourself.
A good church is one that feeds its congregation, but also reaches out to the community, and if you’re a part of a church, you’re a part of that too. There is so much to be accomplished and 1 Corinthians talks about how everyone has their own gift. He uses ‘a body’ as an example, some of us are eyes, some of us are legs. The body requires all its parts to come together in order to be effective, and so with us, we all need to come together as a church to be effective in our world.
Some extra little side-notes for ya:
- If church has been difficult for you in the past, talk to someone about it. I am not ignorant to the fact that churches have done so much damage to many people, but God’s heart is not that we walk away from community because of it. Please feel free to drop me a message in the comments below, I’m happy to talk!
- If you go to church, but aren’t really plugged in, see if you can find an area to get involved in, to play your part in the body: tech team, welcome, set-up/pack-down, worship, kids, refreshments, small groups
- If you aren’t happy in the church you’re a part of, talk to God and trusted friends/mentors about why that might be. If you need to move, that’s okay! Just be sure to do so prayerfully and for the right reasons.
- If you can’t find the ‘right’ church, re-evaluate what it is you’re looking for. Ask God to guide you somewhere and trust that He will. Don’t fall into the trap of being too picky or waiting until everything is perfect. If there are things you think could be improved, maybe you can join and be a part of that change!