I’m passionate about God’s church. I honestly think it’s one of the best things ever to have been created. To be placed into a family of strangers who love and care for each other solely on the basis of God’s unconditional love is truly a remarkable thing. Having someone to turn to in our hour of need is vital in this day when families and individuals are becoming more and more insular.
I believe that the Christian should make Sunday Morning church attendance a priority. Why? Because the Bible stresses the importance of going to church. Now before we go on we should mention that a person becomes a member of the universal church the moment they believe in Jesus. This is the “mystical” or “spiritual” church and is made up of every true believer in Jesus. Having said that, the Bible emphasises the importance for believers to assemble with other believers on a Sunday. I don’t believe it is good enough for the Christian to claim they are going to church when really all they are doing is hanging out with their friends. That is not the biblical or historical understanding of church. There are several reasons why this is the case:
Commanded by God – “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”Hebrews 10:25
I find it strange when Christians do not desire to meet together. I understand that on occasion this isn’t always possible – sickness, work commitments and such like often keep us away from the Sunday Morning church gathering and I want you to understand that I’m not talking about those issues. I’m speaking about dance classes, gardening and other hobbies. As Christians, these are not our priorities.
I find it even more strange when Christians are posting all kinds of Bible-related links on their social media feeds but fail to commit to this one basic principle of Christian discipleship.
Fellowship – “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God”2 Corinthians 1:4
The truth is we are not designed to live alone. We are not designed to live the Christian life from the relative comfort of our homes. The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that
“Two are better than one,Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
because they have a good return for their labour:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
What that means is that we desperately need one another and let me be the first to say “I need you”! And look ……. solitary Christians are in danger. The way that spiritual wolves pick off their prey is to separate them from the pack. It’s easier that way. We must stick together. We must chase those who have stopped attending. We must model church as priority.
Receive Teaching – “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth2 Timothy 2:15
The emphasis here is on “do your best”. Do you best, give your best. Here’s a question we need to ask ourselves from time to time: “Am I doing by best to ensure that whatever is preached on Sunday morning is received?” Practically that might look like:
- choosing what we do on Saturday night so that we are ready for Sunday morning
- Rising up early on Sunday to pray and meditate on God’s Word so that our hearts are ready
- Attending on time – showing up late is disrespectful to God and those serving you – get your heart in the right place
- Reading ahead so that we are already familiar with the passage being preached on (see our reading guide here)
Worship – “Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for He is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting”Psalm 147:1
In our worship we are not only singing to Jesus and about Him – we are preaching to ourselves. We are reminding ourselves about the truth of what we are singing. Additionally, we are listening to others sing. This part, for me at least, is always super encouraging. To hear that another Christian is struggling in one way or another, and yet is singing at the top of their voice about the God who saves and delivers them is one of the most encouraging things. It reminds me that our faith is real.