Importance of attending church

Why is it important to attend church

Discussion: Why is it important to attend church?

The church is where we can practice corporate worship

(Psa 35:18 NIV)  I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you.

(Psa 116:17-19 NIV)  I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD. {18} I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, {19} in the courts of the house of the LORD-- in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.

(Psa 34:2-3 NIV)  My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. {3} Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.

King David knew the importance of corporate worship. He asked the people to “glorify the Lord with him” and “exalt God’s name together.”

When we are feeling down, or bogged down by some problems, we may not be able to worship God alone. But we can overcome this with corporate worship. Their is something about corporate worship that helps the afflicted. David says, "My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice" Psalm 34:2 In other words, when I praise God publicly, a person who is afflicted benefits from it. And if I am afflicted, I benefit from the worship of others.

A second goal of corporate worship is to encounter God. But how do we "encounter" a God who is ever-present everywhere? (Psalm 139:7-10) Although God is omnipresent -- equally present in all places at all times -- He also reveals His presence to us in unique ways, especially as we gather in His name. One striking example occurs in 2 Chronicles when God's people began to praise Him at the dedication of the temple.

(2 Chr 5:12-14 NIV)  All the Levites who were musicians--Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives--stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. {13} The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: "He is good; his love endures forever." Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, {14} and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.

The church is where we can practice corporate prayer

Acts 1:14 "They all joined together constantly in prayer"

Acts 2:1 "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place."

Acts 4:24 "… they raised their voices together in prayer to God…"

It is easy to see how these can all relate to the actions of corporate prayer. When believers come together in prayer with the same passion and purpose, God is ready to move powerfully through their intercession.

Agreement Prayer is described in Matthew 18:19-20: "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

What about praying in secret?

" And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:6)

Some would interpret this scripture to mean we should never pray together. However, it would be careless to ignore the context of Jesus' teaching here in order to justify not praying with other believers. Jesus prefaces His words with this instruction: "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."

The church is where we can have fellowship with other Christians

Close fellowship is the trademark of the early church.

(Acts 2:42 NIV)  They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

There is a need to meet together to encourage one another.

(Heb 10:25 NIV)  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

The church is where we receive instruction from church leaders

(Acts 2:42 NIV)  They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

The church sermon is no substitute for personal quiet time. But it serves an important purpose. It is the time for us to receive instruction from God’s appointed leaders.

(Acts 20:7 NIV)  On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

Biblical basis for church going

The assembly of believers was God’s appointed practice right from the start

(Lev 23:3 NIV)  "'There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the LORD.

Body parts do not exist independently

(1 Cor 12:13-21 NIV)  For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. {14} Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. {15} If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. {16} And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. {17} If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? {18} But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. {19} If they were all one part, where would the body be? {20} As it is, there are many parts, but one body. {21} The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"

We are all part of one body. A body part is not meant to be separated from the body.
One body part needs another body part. We need to stay together for sheer survival.

Association with the church is the way to grow spiritually

(Eph 4:11-16 NIV)  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, {12} to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up {13} until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. {14} Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. {15} Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. {16} From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

The body is meant to grow as one unit. This happens when each person performs his part within the church.

No one grows in a solo fashion. Some people may say that Christianity is a daily practice and therefore it is not necessary to attend church on Sunday. But do you know of any strong Christian who exists by himself and not go to church? We most likely cannot think of any. Growing Christians are always those who honor God enough to go to church regularly.

Even Jesus attended church

Even Jesus did not think of Himself as not needing to go to church.

(Luke 4:16 NIV)  He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.

We are commanded to attend church

(Heb 10:25 NIV)  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

We are commanded to meet regularly with other Christians. What better way to do this than to meet in church every week.

We attend church because we love the church

(Eph 5:29-30 NIV)  After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- {30} for we are members of his body.

Some people have a negative attitude towards the church. They do not mind being a Christian but do not want to have anything to do with the church. These people fail to understand that Jesus loves His church. Therefore we should love the church and attend church.