More and more people stop attending church.
This is a sad trend that seems to continue for many years to come.
There are a lot of big church buildings that are now almost empty to the point that they just stop existing. Whatever the reason behind this trend, we know that it leads to a lot of negative consequences.
How about you?
Do you still find time attending church services on a regular basis?
Do you see the need to assemble with like-minded individuals and become more active in doing God’s work? Or do you find things that are more appealing to do on weekends?
Whatever your answer to these questions, it doesn’t change the fact that God expects His people to congregate at least once every week.
Attending church services play a vital role in our Christian lives. If you want to become an effective Christian, you need to develop the habit of attending church.
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What is a church?
Before we can attend a “church,” we need to define it first accurately. Of course, we might already have our preconceived idea what a church is. For some, the concept of the church seems to be old-fashioned and antiquated. Even the word itself may make people feel uncomfortable.
On the other hand, some people think that a church is like those in the countryside with crosses on top of its roof or it could be those humongous European medieval cathedrals whose images are popular around the world. Others would automatically equate church with any place that is built for a place of worship.
Here’s how Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a church: “A building that is used for Christian religious service.”
Do any of these accurately reflect what the Bible teaches about the meaning of a church? What does the Bible say about this important and yet, often misunderstood term?
We need to know the truth if we want to correctly understand what a church is and how we must respond to God’s calling.
The word church comes from the Greek word ekklesia which means “a calling out.” When the word church used in the New Testament, it invariably refers to a group or assembly of people and never to a building or a place.
The church refers to a group of individuals who are “called out” to live a life different to the world. God called these people for a special purpose, and that is to train them of becoming a true Christian – followers of Christ and God the Father.
Notice what the Apostle Paul has to say about the church:
“Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house” (Romans 16:3-5).
If the church is a building, then it doesn’t make sense for Paul to say, “Greet the “building” that is in their house.”
With this being said, a church is not a cold and lifeless concrete building, but rather it is a body of warm and living people who have dedicated their lives to God. A building with no worshiper is nothing but a structure in a biblical sense.
Why attend church services?
There is a sad trend today and it is the decline of church attendance. In this fast-paced world, it seems that our time is so limited and people think that their weekends are too valuable to be spent in church.
Some people take advantage of their weekends as a time to rest and sleep. Some would rather use it to do the things they can’t do during weekdays.
No matter what the excuse and reasoning of people may have to skip church services, there is no denying how it can negatively affect the spiritual growth of a Christian.
So why do we need to attend church services? Is it really necessary for us, Christians, to make it a weekly habit?
Here are some reasons that you need to attend to church services:
God commands us to join church services.
While most people attend church services on Sundays, I do it on Saturdays as what the Bible reveals. One of the Ten Commandments is to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Genesis 20:8).
It is not enough to rest on the Sabbath day but we also need to gather as a “holy convocation” (Leviticus 23:3). God makes it very clear that He commands us to attend church services.
Purposely not attending church services is a sin.
God makes it plain and simple that we need to attend church services.
This is not a request, but a COMMAND.
Therefore, not attending church services is paramount to breaking God’s commandments and that means we are sinning.
Of course, there are situations beyond our control that may prevent us from coming to Sabbath services. In those cases, God understands that.
Sabbath services help us to know more about God.
One of the reasons that God wants us to keep the Sabbath and attend His church services is to help us remember that He is our Creator.
The Sabbath commandment points us back to the re-creation week mentioned in Genesis 1. In church services, we are taught who God is and what He expects from us.
Attending church services shows our priorities in life.
If you consider God as your top priority (and it should be according to Matthew 6:33), you will spend time with Him.
No matter how busy your life is, you will give time to those things you value the most. So if you value God, then you will surely attend church services.
Yahshua (Jesus) kept the Sabbath.
Luke 14:6 tells us, “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, AS HIS CUSTOM WAS, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”
It was the custom of Christ to go into the synagogue, a place of worship, every Sabbath.
Custom means a habit, tradition, and established practice. So if Christ did it, why shouldn’t we?
Attending church services makes us spiritually strong.
When we assemble with like-minded Christians, we learn from each other. We motivate, inspire, and love each other better. Compare that to just staying at home.
We are spiritually stronger when we are together and united. Hebrews 10:25 strongly urges us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves but rather exhort one another.
Attending church services is essential to strengthen our faith.
The Bible reveals that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
During Sabbath services, you get to hear God’s messages through His servants. If you make it a habit to hearing God’s word, then you will undoubtedly increase and strengthen your faith.
Not attending church increases your chance of straying away from the path of righteousness.
If you stop attending church services, there is a bigger chance that your conscience will be seared with hot iron. Initially, you feel guilty about not going to church, but eventually you will feel no guilt anymore.
This is a dangerous path for Christians to take.
Those who stop attending church will likely fall into one of Satan’s traps. Nature teaches us that if you don’t stay with the herd, you will most likely be a prey to the lion.
Attending church is a form of worship to God.
We go to church not just to fellowship with one another and hear God’s word, but also to worship Him. God is excited every time we sing hymns and praises to Him. We sing to God not because He needs it, but singing godly music helps us appreciate the love, kindness, mercy, and justice of God.
Church services help the Body of Christ to function effectively.
When we are baptized, we become part of Christ’s Body. Attending church services gives us an opportunity to use our spiritual gifts and to learn how to serve one another as what Christ has shown us. As an organized group of Christians, we can do mightier work through God’s blessings.
These are just some of the important reasons why we need to attend church services. Of course, it goes without saying that attending church services is more than just being present. You need to take advantage of every opportunity to grow spiritually as a Christian.
Don’t just come to church services whenever you feel like it.
Attending church services is an integral part of being a Christian.
It must be one of the top priorities when we plan our schedules for the week.
Yes, there is always some of those things that we thought would be better to do on Saturdays, but these reasons should compel you that attending church is still the BEST way to spend your weekends.
Why people leave their church?
Over the years since I became part of the Church of God, I have seen people come and go. There is no doubt the true Church of God is not immune to division. However, when I try to examine why people leave the Church, most of them, if not all, leave for the wrong reasons. I can think of many invalid reasons that had caused many people to make the wrong decision.
Let me share with you what I think are five stupid reasons people leave the Church.
1. They leave the Church because someone offends them
This is the most common reason I can see why people leave the church. When brethren are offended and their feelings were hurt by his brother or sister in faith, they would rather leave the church rather than be reconciled with each other.
There is no doubt that the Church of God is composed of imperfect people. No matter what happen, there will come a time when people will act in a way that you would be offended. However, the Bible tells us;
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love” (Ephesians 4:2).
We can’t do so much about what people do, but we can control how we react to it. So instead of leaving the Church just because someone hurt your feeling, remember to be patient and seek counsel.
2. They leave the church because they don’t like the leaders
Some individuals will look into the people who hold a position, rather than looking at the office they hold. Again, people will always be people. They are imperfect humans. Just because you don’t like the leaders who hold the position doesn’t mean that you should leave the Church. No matter who holds the office of a certain position, the ultimate Head of the Church is Jesus Christ.
“And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy” (Colossians 1:18).
3. They leave the church because it’s not fun
It is sad to note that there are growing feelings over the past years that being a Christian is boring, lifeless and will only take the fun out of life.
This satanic mindset is something that had caused many people, especially the younger ones, to leave the Church. (Please read my blog, “Is It Boring To Be A Christian? 5 Reasons It Is Not”).
Jesus Christ said: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).
Being a Christian means living life to the fullest. When you stay within the Church, you are educated on how to live this life in such a way that it will yield more blessings and happiness.
However, if you leave the Church, you are preventing God to make a difference in your life. This will eventually lead to sadness and frustration.
4. People leave the Church because they made a mistake
Adam and Eve made a mistake when they ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Instead of approaching God and ask for forgiveness, they made another mistake of hiding from God. Most of us are not that different from our first parents.
Most people who made a big mistake in their lives would rather leave the Church because of shame, guilt, and fear.
It is true that sin can separate us from God. But this does not mean that it should be left that way. Instead of hiding from God by leaving the Church, we need to ask for forgiveness and be reconciled to Him.
“For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything” (I John 3:20).
5. People leave the Church because they want “freedom”
People think that the Church is just there to restrict and confine them within a set of moral rules. They believe that to stay in the Church is being a slave while to leave is being freed.
Actually, there are only two choices; it is either being a servant of God or a servant of Satan.Tweet
The right choice should be obvious by now, but Satan is sagacious and cunning who will offer his way of life wrapped in a very attractive trappings.
Don’t be deceived; the way of Satan will lead to enslavement rather than freedom. But God’s way of life will lead to life and real freedom!
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
Don’t leave the Church for the wrong reasons.
Instead, stay close to God and let Him take care of your concerns. We need to remember that God’s way of life always works.
If you let anyone or anything comes between you and God, then you are making the biggest mistake of your life.
Leaving the true Church of God is never an option. Staying close to God while keeping the faith is the only option.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live“(Deuteronomy 30:19)!
Will you develop the habit of attending church?
Attending church is vital to our spiritual health. The more we stay close to the Body of Christ, the safer we are from the evil schemes of the devil.
God commanded us to congregate together at least once every week during His Sabbaths for us to stay spiritually stronger. This is the main reason that part of being an effective Christian means that we must have the habit of attending church.
If we regularly go to Sabbath services, we are not just helping ourselves, but others as well. It is one way God is teaching us to be our brother’s keeper.
If you really want to become a highly effective Christian, then you must stay close to God, Jesus Christ, and the Church.
➠ Go to table of content.
➠ Go to the sixth habit, “The Habit of Developing the Fruit of the Holy Spirit.”
➠ Read this blog series in PDF format or Kindle format.