The question of why it is important to attend church each week has been asked in various forms by people ever since there were worship services to attend. Human beings from all ages and of all ages simply do not like to be told that they need to be disciplined enough to conform their lives around a life style pattern. In our flesh, we all want to “go with the flow” and be free to choose what each day will hold according to our desires.
However, there are good reasons for establishing a regular pattern of church attendance as a formative discipline of one’s life.
Some years ago, Campus Life Magazine had a column entitled, “Person to Person,” that addressed this issue. A question came in from a young woman who said that she could love God just as effectively and stay home on Sunday morning. I feel that the response from the editors bears review:
“You probably can have a lot of warm feelings toward God without attending church. The problem is that you are not obeying Him if you don’t go to church. The Bible is full of images that help define what the church is:
- It is a family. Every Christian is part of that family. A child growing up in a family is dependent on the other people in the family to survive… And even if an older child could grow up by himself, he’d certainly be a healthier person if he was connected to a mother, father, sisters and brothers…You need a church because you need other Christians to help you grow.
- It is a body. An ear or an eye is useless without the rest of the body. And lacking an eye or an ear, the body is not quite whole. Cutting yourself off from the church is like deliberately maiming yourself (and I would add maiming the body of Christ)…
“No church is perfect just as no person is perfect. Nevertheless, God has asked us to ‘not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but rather encourage one another.’ Hebrews 10:25”
Acts 2:42 gives us an idea of the things that a healthy church does, and how it helps Christians grow. First, solid biblical teaching is essential. Second, there needs to be fellowship. Third, the central beliefs of Christ’s life, death and resurrection need to be the center of the focus of teaching. Finally, it all must be supported in prayer.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Acts 2:42 NIV
I praise the Lord for the way that Quail conforms to this description of a God-honoring church. I trust that each of you will value the privilege of meeting together each week this year. Our love for the Lord will deepen and our usefulness for His kingdom will grow as we obey Him and establish a life pattern of regular worship.