For many of us, Sunday is the day in which we regularly attend church with our families. Perhaps we were raised in the church, and attending a Sunday service is just what we do. But now I have friends who have stopped attending church. For them, somewhere in their adulthood a big disconnect with the church and religion, or specific persons in the church caused them to lose faith in the need to belong to a church family. They see the church as a flawed, man-made institution, and one which they no longer wish to belong.
My husband and I have decided that it’s important, on many levels, that our children grow up in the church. It’s a grounding which we believe solidifies the worldview we have decided to follow, and it is us belonging to a family of like-minded brothers and sisters. But is there real inherent dangers for kids who don’t grow up in the church? I think so. If we go back just 20 or 30 years ago there was a pretty common consensus about what was right and wrong; most of which was based on a Judeo-Christian ideology. But in today’s world, there many different religious and secular theologies purposely blended together to validate non-Biblical ideologies and life choices. How are kids going to know what really is right and wrong in the eyes of God if they’ve never been taught His TRUTH or belonged to a Body of believers who will be there to assist them during their confusing years of adolescence?
For those of us who do regularly attend a church, why do we go? Does the Bible specifically tell us that we HAVE to go to church on Sunday? Really, can’t I just watch a service online, in the comfort of my own home and get the same out of it?
There are Christians who have very personal reasons as to why they choose not to attend a church on a regular basis. For many what began as a personal hurt, ended up ultimately separating them from any church body. Perhaps their perception of what the church is, has been distorted due to:
- Huge amounts of legalism ever-present in the church.
- A perception that all the church wants is our money AND/OR its misuse of funds.
- Un-welcoming / judgmental congregants. Where’s the love?
- Guilt as opposed to forgiveness is practiced. I am not worthy.
- Grace is a mystery, therefore not discussed. How do I earn my salvation?
- Church politics and a perception of social cliques make me feel uncomfortable.
- Ritualistic worship that has no personal impact in my walk with Christ. It’s boring!
- I am the church… I don’t need a building.
These are big hurdles that shouldn’t be ignored. In love these personal hurts need to be addressed. While we are truly THE CHURCH, there are three main spiritual pillars that will help us have a strong Christian walk in this life. They are: Prayer, Studying God’s Word, and Worshipping the Lord with fellow believers. Imagine a three-legged stool without one leg. It wouldn’t work. It would topple over.
Does the Bible specifically instruct us to attend church?
(Hebrews 10:25) And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Being firmly rooted in God’s Word and having a true relationship with the Lord through prayer and devotion will bring us a measure of discernment when it comes to where we are called to worship. To be with other like-minded believers will strengthen us, and will hopefully allow us to gain a better understanding of how to apply God’s Word to our daily lives. We are all part of the Body of Christ. As members of this Body, we belong to each other! Sure there are those Sundays that illness, travel or family activities prevent us from attending our regular church service. With today’s technology we are blessed to have the online or archived messages which can easily be accessed wherever we are! But these “viewing” sessions are really exceptions and not meant to be the rule. We are part of a Body, and we need each other. We need to be physically present, for ourselves as much as for the other members of the Body.
(Romans 12:5) “so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”
(1 Corinthians 12:12) “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.”
Have you taught your children it’s important to attend church? What criteria do you use to choose a church home for you and your family? Have you ever thought of attending church as a GIFT and not an OBLIGATION?
Let’s discuss this…
About the Author: Lisa Strnad is a freelance writer/blogger, who regularly contributes to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly. She is a homeschooling mom of two, who works independently in Christian media in the areas of writing, promotions and marketing. She lives with her husband and children in Nashville, TN. You can follow Lisa at her personal blog, Talking Like A Girl.