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.
Hebrews 10:24-25 speaks of God’s directive to worship together when it says “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 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.” Colossians 3:16 further states “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.”
If you do not belong to a home church this coming Sunday please use one of our Worship Service Plans and enjoy a service of your own. These Worship Service Plans are useful for anyone anywhere, whether individuals, shut-ins, your family gathered in the den, a nursing facility of sick & elderly, you and your neighbors sitting in the backyard, or any group of believers who share a need to gather and praise and worship The Lord God.
There are four main reasons we need church
First, we need to identify ourselves with God’s people, to be counted as Christ’s followers, to come together and remain strong in the faith. Interaction with other believers builds friendship and gives spiritual stability. The writer of Hebrews 10:25 admonished the first-century followers of Christ: “Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near” (TLB). We cannot overemphasize the importance of fellowship in the church. There is something about fellowship within the body of believers in the local church that is unique and cannot be found elsewhere. If one live coal falls from the fire, it soon grows cold. The same principle holds true in the spiritual sense. To neglect fellowship in church is to give up the encouragement and help of other Christians. We gather together to share our faith and strengthen one another in the Lord.
Second, church brings people together for worship. There is nothing to compare with the work of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s heart and mind during the singing of hymns and songs of praise, public Scripture readings, prayer and the teaching of God’s Word.
Third, regular and accurate teaching of the Bible helps us grow and live successfully as Christians. Teaching that is in step with biblical truths convicts us to do what’s right and helps us lovingly hold our fellow Christians accountable.
Fourth, church is ideal for serving Christ and others. The evangelist Billy Graham once wrote, “I would choose a church which opens its arms to everyone with a spiritual need, regardless of social standing or race, one which has concerns about the social sins of the community, which has a missionary vision and spirit which cooperates with any worthwhile effort to bring Christ to the world. I would also choose a church which is worthy of one’s (financial gifts), and where I could unstintingly give of my talents and capabilities for the glory of God.” As we seek a church like this, we will have the opportunity to minister to others. Our lives will bear witness to Christ’s love (Matthew 5:16).
Other things to look for in a church
Churches differ by congregation and community, but the main goal is to find one that focuses on teaching the Bible. Key teachings include: the Bible as the true, authoritative Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16); there is one God who exists in three persons—God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; Matthew 28:18-19); salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9); and spiritual maturity that develops as Christians dedicate themselves to prayer, studying the Bible and obeying God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Colossians 2:6-7).
No church is perfect. Every church is made up of sinners who struggle with the same things you do, so fellowship might require patience, forgiveness and love. Realize that you, too, are in need of these things. It’s also wise to not get involved with groups that call themselves Christians but deviate from the message of the Bible or don’t practice what they preach. We should, however, still love and care for people who identify with these groups and use opportunities to share our faith with them.
Avoid False Teachers
Unsound teaching can be a danger in our Christian walk. Let’s learn to spot those who might lead us in the wrong direction. False teachers usually …
• Mock truth. That is, they attack or attempt to discredit the Word of God or the church. When presented in a passionate and intelligent-sounding way, anti-church sentiment can lure even the most sincere people to doubt the truth of Scripture.
• Follow unrighteous impulses. False teachers pick and choose verses to justify their sinful habits and desires. For them, the interpretation of Scripture is selective.
• Divide people. They try to appear superior to their listeners. Some claim an experience that elevates them to a “higher level,” while others profess a more advanced spirituality that no one else could ever achieve.
• Are worldly-minded. False teachers are not interested in teaching God’s Word. Instead, their focus is usually on what they can achieve, how many people will follow them, or how much they can earn through their teaching.
Spirit-led teachers recognize that humility and unity with their students is key (Phil. 2:1-4). Let’s pray for discernment to distinguish true teachers from misguided ones—and for only godly instruction to influence the church (Phil. 1:9-10).