What does the Bible say about church attendance?
I must be honest. This post is being written because of my burden for what is going on today. Many Christians are neglecting church. Church attendance is on the decline. I recently went to North Carolina and most of the professing Christians that I talked to did not attend church.
I understand that I was in the Bible Belt and everybody is a professing Christian. However, this happens everywhere. Everywhere you go there are professing believers who do not regularly attend church even though they can.
Christian quotes about church
“Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.” Dwight L. Moody
“Though true Christianity uniquely involves a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, it is also a corporate experience…Christians cannot grow spiritually as they ought to in isolation from one another.”
“It must not content us to take our bodies to church if we leave our hearts at home.” J.C. Ryle
“To gather with God’s people in united adoration of the Father is as necessary to the Christian life as prayer.” – Martin Luther
The church is the body of Christ
Jesus died for the church. Throughout the New Testament the church is referred to as the body of Christ. Is it referring to a physical building? No, but it is referring to everyone who has truly been saved by the blood of Christ. Being a member of the body of Christ is beautiful because we have been joined to Christ in salvation and we receive all of the spiritual benefits. As the body of Christ, we demonstrate His heart and mind. Although imperfectly, the life of Christ will be reflected by the church. This means that the church will be loving, obedient, meek, devoted, holy, merciful, etc.
1. Ephesians 1:22–23 “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
2. Ephesians 4:11-12 “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”
3. Ephesians 5:23-25 “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
4. Romans 12:4-5 “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
5. 1 Corinthians 10:17 “Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.”
6. Colossians 1:24 “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.”
Is church attendance necessary?
If the church should reflect Christ, then that means that the church should be devoted. Christ was always devoted to doing the will of His Father. It is God’s will that we regularly attend church. We are told to go to church for a plethora of reasons. Are you saved by going to church? No, of course not. Also, there are a number of reasons why someone might not be able to attend church such as an injury, work schedule, etc. However, we must always examine our deep motives.
Are you not going due to excuses, laziness, or a lack of a desire to have fellowship with other believers? I’m not saying that you will have a perfect Sunday church attendance record. If we’re honest we’ve all missed church for one week, two weeks, etc. However, when we deliberately refrain from going to church that is sin! Not only is it sin, but we are not allowing God to involve us in His activity within the church.
I’m not trying to be legalistic. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. However, if someone is refusing to go to church and doesn’t have that desire to have fellowship with other believers, then that might be evidence of a person who is not truly saved. We should be committed to and involved in our local church.
7. Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
8. Psalm 133:1 “A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”
We were created to have fellowship
We can’t live this Christian life alone. In your time of need how can others help you and in someone else’s time of need how can you help them? God has used me to encourage others and be encouraged by others in the church. Do not doubt what God can do through you and how God can bless you through others.
There are many things that we are told to do, but we can’t do them if we are not going to church. God has blessed us all with different gifts that are to be used for the edification of the church. Ask yourself, when is the church functioning best? It functions best when members of the church are actively using their gifts.
9. 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
10. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
11. Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
12. Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively.”
13. Romans 12:4-6 “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. 6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.”
14. Ephesians 4:16 “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
Believers should desire corporate worship and being taught the Bible.
Corporate worship and being fed the Word of God is essential on our walk of faith. Both are an important part of our maturity and growth in Christ. It doesn’t matter if you have been waking with the Lord for 30 years, you can never get enough of God’s Word. Also, you can never get enough of worshipping Him in a corporate setting.
As I said before, Jesus died for the church. Why would we neglect what He died for? Worshipping the Lord and learning with my brothers and sisters is beautiful to me and it’s a precious sight in the eyes of God. When believers gather together to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth the Lord is honored.
15. Ephesians 5:19-20 “Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
16. Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
17. 1 Timothy 4:13 “Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.”
We should have a cheerful heart about going to church
Just as we should judge our motives for not going to church, we should judge our motives for going to church. Many believers go to church not out of love, but out of duty. I’ve done this before. If this is you confess your sins before the Lord. Ask Him for a heart that desires to love Christ and His church. Ask Him for a heart that desires corporate worship. Ask Him to remind you of why you go to church.
18. 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Communion is regularly served in church settings.
19. 1 Corinthians 11:24-26 And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
The early church met together
20. Acts 20:7 “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Since Paul was ready to leave the next day, he talked to them and kept on speaking until midnight.”
21. Acts 2:42 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
22. Acts 2:46 “With one accord they continued to meet daily in the temple courts and to break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart.”
Examples of Churches in the Bible
23. 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 “Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – (Grace verses in the Bible)
24. Galatians 1:1-5 “Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters with me, To the churches in Galatia: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
25. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2 “Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.”
Find a church to attend
If you have been saved by Christ, you are now part of His family. We are told to love our brothers and sisters. How can you say that you love your family, but you don’t desire to have fellowship with them? It’s like someone who gets married, but refuses to live with their spouse even though nothing is hindering them.
You will still be married, but you are making it harder for your marriage to grow and progress. In the same way you’re saved by Christ alone. However, you’re making it harder for yourself to grow and progress if you don’t go to church regularly. Also, you are revealing a heart that is selfish and lacks love for other believers. Please find a biblical church today!
Doesn’t matter if you like it or not. Doesn’t matter if you “fit in” or not. You’re supposed to go no matter if the church accepts you with open arms or flat out ignores you. You’re not there for them but for God,
Unfortunately, as attendance might be declining, so is the amount of Bible taught. I feel MANY churches avoid teaching ALL the parts of the Bible we all should be armed with (right/wrong, deliverance, attacks on our kids by the enemy, how to stay hopeful in hopeless situations, getting hurt in Church, etc.). It sometimes feels as if pastors are afraid of “offending” someone. Where are the leaders / elders of the church that we can go to?
Also, if the Church must be “Christ like”, why is there so much judgement and disconnection within the Church? Like it or not, not feeling “accepted” in a place of God does matters considering the body of Christ is us, and this is where community should be happening, is isn’t?