But Do I Have To Go To Church?
I listened intently as my grandmother told me, "I don't have to go to church. I can worship God from my living room."
Really? Is that all there is to our Christian lives? My grandmother had went to church her whole life, and now she is telling me that it isn't important. Are we left to walk this walk without other believers? I have my Bible. I guess that is all I need, but is it?
Hebrews 10 : 24-25, ESV
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
What jumps out to me most as I consider these two verses is, "not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some."
The author of Hebrews felt strongly about the need to meet together. We are not to neglect it. Ok, so this Christian faith isn't to be lived out alone.
Why do we need to meet together? Here are three reasons laid out here:
- We are to stir one another to love.
Do I need help in loving others? YES! When someone has done something wrong to me, I need other believers to remind me that I still need to love that person. For example, I have a hard time loving those who always put their wants and desires above the needs of their children. I'm a preschool director, and in my years, I've seen a lot of this. I never give the family names as I talk to accountability partners about the situations, but as I talk it out, I'm reminded that the parent isn't a believer, and that I need to show them grace and love just as Christ would do.
- We are to stir one another to do good works.
At my church, each member is encouraged to attend a community group. These groups meet once a week to discuss the sermon in smaller group setting. We share prayer requests, and we do acts of service together. One of the community groups has a food pantry for those who may come in the church in need of groceries. Another group ministers to people who find themselves in need of big household items, such as couches, washing machines, etc. One group used to host family outreaches for the local family resource center. Each group gathers together to find ways to help the community where we live.
- We are to encourage each other.
As we meet on Sundays or in community groups, we are to encourage each other in our faith. Different ladies I know will ask me about my week and pray for me when they see me feeling down, and I do the same for them. If I never set foot into church, how will anyone know I am struggling? I could sit at home and spiral deeper and deeper into my depression or self-pity. Who would know? I need to have these times with other Christians around so they can pray for me, point out Scriptures to me, and check on me.
God did not leave us to live out our faith alone. We are to meet with others on a regular basis. We are commanded in these verses to stir one another on. We can't do that if we aren't meeting in a community of Christians.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.