People throw this question in different forms.
Does a Christian need to go to church? Do I have to go to church to be a good Christian? Can’t I read the bible and pray by myself and make heaven? What if I choose to gather with my friends in the house and discuss the Bible? Doesn’t it make up a church – after all, the bible says “where two or three are gathered…”?
You’ve probably heard or asked a question along these lines. When most people ask these questions, they look into your eyes, expecting a “Yes” or “No” answer.
Of course, there’s nowhere in the bible that reads, “except thou go to church, thou shall not see the kingdom of God.” But as we read the bible, we’ll see the relationship between the church and a Christian.
First, let’s understand what the “Church” means. The Greek word translated “church” in the New Testament means ekklesia, which means gathering or a called-out assembly. Church goes beyond the physical building; it is more about the people gathered in God’s name.
Back to our question – Does a Christian need the Church?
To answer this, let’s discuss three significance of the church in a Christian’s life.
God created us as relational beings – to make friends, interact, need help from each other, love, care and share. Yes, we can get these from colleagues, neighbours and friends outside the church. But the depth of fellowship can’t compare to what you’ll share in a true body of Christ. In a Church built of people who behave like Christ. We share a bond stronger than work, career or even family relationship – the bond of Christ. Acts 2: 46-47 tells us about this kind of brotherly fellowship:
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
What a bond!
You moved into a new environment. Where do you easily find new friends and family? In the Church. You’re sick or in need. The Bible admonishes us to call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray for you.
These elders are also there as parents, mentors, guides to help you navigate tough and uncertain parts of life. You might argue that some of these things aren’t obtainable in the Church again. Yes, we know some wolves have sneaked in, disguising themselves as sheep. And in some cases, the church has forgotten what it should be. A home.
That’s why we first defined the Church as not just the building, but the Called-out people making up the assembly. God still has a remnant of His Church built firm upon the Rock. And you should be one. Instead of turning your back to the church, why not come and join hands to build it into what it ought to be? If you’re searching for a church to belong to, ask God to guide you. He will. We, the Young Professionals Forum, and our mother Church will be glad to welcome you too! Reach out to us today.
Studying and understanding God’s word goes beyond a just head knowledge of the meaning of letters combined. God made provision for a deeper understanding and application of His word through the Church.
In God’s family, just like you have five fingers in each of your hands, we have 5 ministerial fingers. Jesus gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4: 11-12)
You can’t be all this for yourself. That’s why you need this body of Christ.
Do you know what led to the followers of Christ – the disciples – being called Christian (Christ-like)?
Acts 11: 26 gives us an insight: “…And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
So these followers of Jesus in Antioch gathered together, teaching… their lives got transformed so much that they got a new label – Christians.
To grow in your walk with God, you need the church, and the church needs you.
Exhortation means “to strongly encourage, urge, or persuade someone to do something.” We all need this at different times in our life.
Left to yourself and some “loving” friends, you might end up over-pampering and excusing yourself from doing what is right. And you know, doing what is right may not always be bread-and-butter. That’s where exhortation from people who love you and are grounded in the truth of God’s word comes in.
“Brother/sister, you’re walking in a dangerous path. Take this way.” They pray with you, encourage you, challenge you… That’s why Hebrews 10: 25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
There are more answers to this question. But I believe these 3 points can help you answer the question: Do Christians Need To Go To Church?
Yes, we do. Because we need each other to survive and thrive.