I have a friend who pastors small church in a rural community. One day, he was in a local store and he was conversing with a young woman. The conversation came up about church attendance. “Oh yes, I have a church home. It is ________” She named his church. He said, “Hmm… I am the pastor and I don’t remember you ever attending.” Busted!
Ten Reasons to Attend a Local Church
Many people are fooling themselves regarding church. They say they have a church home, but do they attend their church home? Here are ten reasons why you need to actually attend church;
- You need what only the church can provide- Church is believers coming together to spend time around the Word of God and worship Him together as one. There is a corporate anointing that comes. In this atmosphere, the gifts of the Spirit move bringing healing. miracles and deliverance. When was the last time you experienced the corporate anointing while watching a church service online? Live streaming services are not meant to be a long-term solution for church. That being said, it has its place for the home bound or those in remote areas.
- You need a safe place- The world is getting more dark and dangerous with each passing day. Everyday we hear about school and mall shootings, ISIS attacks… Church is where you learn how to hear and obey his voice, and flow with the Spirit of God. It is vital to know the voice of God and be able to make correct spiritual and natural decisions. The consequences are life and death. If you’re not in church, your taking your life into your own hands.
- The church needs you– Everything so far is about what you receive. But it is also true that you have something to give. Remember Ephesians 4:16? In short, everybody brings something. You make the church a better, richer place. You are the answer to somebody’s prayer. God works through people and you are one of his people.
- You need godly relationships- Your friends come from the places you hang out. Yes, there are very spiritual people at school and the gym. But, when was the last time you broke out in heart felt worship at the gym or had a prayer meeting at school? Koinonia is the Greek word for fellowship. It is communion or spending time around the Word of God with others, not a TV set or a computer screen. It is at church where you bask in his presence. You must position yourself to hear from him. This is also true concerning your kids. Their friends will come from where they hang out.
- You need good habits- The first week my husband and I decided that we would attend church regularly our car broke down. The second week we didn’t have gas money to get there. But, we got rides and help from others and stuck with it until we could make it on our own. It takes commitment to get up every Sunday morning, fix breakfast, get yourself and your kids dressed and go to church. It is called personal self-development. You develop your bodies in the gym and your mind through learning. You develop your musical abilities by practice. Well, you develop your spirit by going to church. Umm…. so if you don’t go to church… you have a weak spirit.
- Attend church for the spiritual development of your children- In his book, Transforming Children into Spiritual Giants George Barna tells us,” The moral foundations of children are generally determined by the time the individual reaches age nine.” If you have kids, the window of opportunity to lay a spiritual foundation in your child’s life is very short. After they turn nine years old, the gig is up. That window is closed. So think about the legacy you are leaving for your child right now. By the age of 12, their spiritual identity is fully in place. Will they have to overcome couch potato habits regarding church or will they be able to draw from a rich church and spiritual heritage?
- Biblical reinforcement of life lessons- At home you tell your children to treat their siblings nicely and it seems to fall on deaf ears. At church, they memorize the scripture about walking in love and hear a 45 minute lesson on it. The best way to compliment what you are teaching at home is biblical reinforcement.
- Church is a safe harbor in the storms of life– When I was young, I never thought about serious problems. But after a few life crisis’s, I realize the importance of positioning myself well ahead of time for crisis. When you are in a crisis, money won’t buy the spiritual support you will need. Your online pastor is not going to come to the hospital and pray for you. You need strong spiritual and natural relationships. Where will you go when crisis hits? You are not spiritually strong enough to fight that battle alone. You didn’t develop your natural muscles overnight. The same is true spiritually. In the day we live in, you can’t afford to be spiritually undeveloped and isolated. It will cost you-big time. When the crisis of life hits, you need to be hooked up solidly with a body of believers who will support and help you in your time of need.
- Your children need to experience the presence of god for themselves -I am glad your kids know the books of the Bible by heart. Don’t kid yourself though.You are robbing your children of their full spiritual potential if you stay at home. You are also in disobedience to the Word of God. “Don’t forsake the fellowship of the believers” is a command, not a suggestion. They need to experience God for themselves and you can’t have a corporate anointing alone.
- Use online services to supplement your spiritual diet. Just like you take supplements for your physical body, use online services as spiritual supplements. Pay attention to how much time you spend consuming natural things; video games, the news, and Facebook. Discipline yourself to take your spiritual supplements before you entertain yourself for hours on end. There is a lot of goofy stuff out there. Don’t listen to just anybody. Look to your church elders and those you respect. Ask them who they listen to.
Get past the excuses
The “I’m too busy” excuse doesn’t cut it. Why can others make it who are in your same situation? Stop looking for perfection in humans and tripping over others faults. As long as you attend church, we know there will always be problems! That’s a joke-but I think you get the point. You don’t attend church for others anyway. You are there to meet with God and to bring your kids to meet with God.
Get started again
First of all, you need to repent for allowing yourself to get lazy. Repent means to turn around and go a different way. Then, make a commitment to attend every week. Pick a church service whose schedule works with your work/school schedule.
If you have kids, explain to your children that you were wrong and you are going to start a new habit. Consider them when making your decision about which church to attend and pick one that will meet their individual needs.
Remember that you will face obstacles because the devil is real and he doesn’t want you to change. He wants you just where you are. So, ask for help if you need accountability. Be there every time the doors rattle!