Church attendance has been declining in the United States for the past several decades. In the mid-1950s, a Gallup survey included the question, “Did you, yourself, happen to attend church, synagogue or mosque in the last seven days, or not?”
At the time, the number of participants that responded in the affirmative was as high as 49 percent. In recent years, it’s hovered in the mid-30 percent range. While fewer people might be going to church these days, the Bible’s instructions on church attendance is clear.
Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the Day approaching.”
With religious broadcasts available on television, the radio, and the internet, finding excuses to avoid physically going to church is easier than ever before. However, the following powerful reasons highlight why today’s believers still to need to make the effort.
#1: To put God First
When Christians put forth the effort to attend church services on Sundays, or other days of the week, they’re showing that they’re giving God precedence in their lives. They’re making a statement that worshipping God at His house is more important than an extra hour of sleep, brunch at a favorite restaurant, or a football game. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
#2: To Worship God
Christians are commanded to worship their creator.
Psalms 150:6 proclaims, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!”
John 4:23-24 states, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” According to Chip Ingram, President of Walk Thru the Bible and Teaching Pastor of national radio ministry Living on the Edge, “True worship is a heartfelt expression of love, adoration, admiration, fascination, wonder, and celebration. It’s something that happens in your heart and soul when you begin to praise God for who He is and thank Him for what He has done.” Worship draws you closer to God. What better place is there to worship God than in His house surrounded by other believers?
#3: To Grow Spiritually
Attending church regularly is one of the best ways for Christians to strengthen their spiritual muscles. As they listen and meditate on the teaching and preaching of the Word, their faith is bolstered. Being fed spiritually equips believers to face spiritual conflicts head-on and overcome challenges that may come their way.
Ephesians 6:10-13 states, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
#4: To Fellowship with Other Believers
When believers join together in Christian fellowship, opportunities to share, encourage, help, teach, and love abound.
Galatians 6:2 states, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Christians have been commanded to fellowship with believers since the early church days. Acts 2:42-44 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.”
While going to church may not be trendy in the 21st century, it’s still important. Pray that Christians who are currently “forsaking the assembling” will find a loving, supportive church family soon.
~ 1776 Christian