Why go to Church? We need church because we’re designed as relational beings. Spiritual growth occurs in the context of relationships that we’ll find in a fellowship of Christians. A Christian lifestyle is best practiced when it is lived out in community. Only in relationships can we learn what it means to be patient, loving, giving, or sacrificial. Even God’s gifts to us are meant to function in relation to others: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).
God wants a personal relationship with His children, and He wants His children to experience that relationship with other Christians. He has always centered our spiritual worship, training, and religious celebration in the heart of community. The people of Israel practiced their devotion as a nation. Modern-day Christians practice theirs in the collective body of the church.
It’s easy for us to think that religion is strictly a personal matter. It’s true that God calls each of us individually and uniquely to our spiritual journeys. But that’s only one aspect of Christian living. After our individual commitment to Christ, what come next is a growing need to both find and give support, direction, and interaction in a community of believers. What begins as “I” finds its completion in “we.”
In Matthew 18:20 Jesus proclaimed, “For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them.” God is always with us as individuals, but Jesus seems to be saying that there is also a unique quality of communion that He shares with us when we meet together as His church. This is just another reminder of why community is so important.
One of the most important functions of the church in our lives, however, is in moving us toward spiritual maturity. The Bible explains that the goal of church life is that we may be built up “until we all attain to the unity of the faith” and become “mature.” (Ephesians 4:11-16). I think a crucial part here is what the Bible teaches that the whole body needs to be built up, not just us individually, but the church. Meaning since there are various parts within the body, we must strive to help build each other up, completing the body as a whole with Christ being the head. We are not meant to live our lives in isolation, but within the context of community.
Through the church “we are to grow up in every way into Him…when each part is working properly.” We may know and love God on our own, but we become complete in Him when we’re connected to the life of His church.
Remember, the church is not full of perfect people, but rather sinful people who are still messed up (after becoming believers) trying to move forward together to be more like Christ, spread the Gospel, and glorify Him in all they do. That means you can probably always find something wrong with a local church, but don’t count them all the way out just yet. Give it a shot, try visiting over a few weeks, and during that time hopefully you will see Christian community playing out and will consider being a part.
Question: So what about you? What’s holding you back from going to Church? Please feel free to comment below.
Here are other Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.