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Must I Attend Church?

My husband and I are Christians, but we don't attend church. I was a church member for many years but after relocating, I could not find a church that "moved" me. So we have chosen not to attend. Does a lack of church attendance really hinder my Christianity?

The Bible gives a clear answer to your question: we should remember “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). Apparently, some members of the early church had stopped going to church regularly, prompting these words. The writer notes that church attendance for the Christian is not merely a suggestion; it is a requisite for Christian maturity.

When we come to faith in Christ, we become members of the body of Christ. As the church, we worship together, encourage each other, receive instruction, develop our gifts, and have accountability. The Pauline epistles are full of descriptions of how Christ’s church works optimally. Luke 4:16 says, “[Jesus] went to Nazareth, where he’d been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.” Jesus went to His usual place of worship. He showed us by example, that honoring God in this way was important.

While praying and reading the Bible are important practices, a full, growing Christian experience requires more. It is true that the church is far from perfect, and it is easy to find reasons to stop attending. Nevertheless, it is the way God has chosen to develop Christian character and community and to be a presence in a lost world. We won’t always feel “moved” as you put it; this is a common complaint I well understand. Attending a service in person may also be inconvenient, but the church’s importance cannot be overstated. The need for us to meet together as the body of Christ transcends our feelings just as marriage stays committed in times of boredom.

BY Dr. Rosalie de Rosset

Dr. Rosalie de Rosset has been teaching at Moody Bible Institute in the Communications Department for over five decades. She is occasionally featured on Moody Radio. Rosalie is a published author, respected speaker, and talented writer. She lives on the northside of Chicago, a city she enjoys for its natural beauty and multi-faceted art offerings.

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