Church attendance is on the decline, leaving many wondering if going to church still matters in our modern world. However, the Bible makes a strong case for the importance of church involvement for every Christian.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: According to the Bible, we should go to church for fellowship, worship, spiritual growth and to use our gifts to serve others.
In this comprehensive article, we will examine multiple reasons why Christians should attend and participate in a local church, including for spiritual nourishment, fellowship, service, worship, accountability and more.
The Church as the Body of Christ
We are united in Christ
The church is described in the Bible as the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). This means that all believers are united together with Christ as the head. Just as a physical body has many parts that function together as one unit, the body of Christ is made up of many members who each have a role to play.
The Bible teaches that when we put our faith in Christ, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body (1 Corinthians 12:13). We become members of God’s family and are connected to each other through the shared presence of the Holy Spirit.
This unity transcends social, economic, and ethnic divisions, as Paul declared, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
As members of Christ’s body, God has equipped each of us with spiritual gifts to build up the church (1 Corinthians 12:7). Although we have different gifts and functions, we share a common purpose of using them for God’s glory, “so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other” (1 Corinthians 12:25).
Functioning as a unified body allows the church to reveal Christ to the world.
Diversity of spiritual gifts
Every Christian receives spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit to strengthen the church. These include gifts like teaching, service, giving, leadership, mercy, hospitality (Romans 12:6-8) as well as gifts of healing, prophecy, tongues, interpretation, words of wisdom and knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8-10).
Just as the human body needs eyes, ears and hands to function properly, the body of Christ gains strength from the diversity of gifts present within the church community. Each person’s gifts are given “for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7) to build up fellow believers.
For example, those with the gift of service may organize meals and visits for church members in need. Those gifted at teaching provide sound doctrine to guide the congregation. Those graced with generosity give cheerfully to support the church’s mission.
We all have an important role to play, even if our gifts seem small. Paul compared it to the function of individual body parts – just as feet and ears are necessary for the human body to operate correctly, so too the seemingly weaker or less honorable gifts are indispensable (1 Corinthians 12:22-24).
As we discover and employ our gifts in unity, we exhibit Christ’s character to the watching world.
For Spiritual Nourishment and Growth
Biblical Teaching and Preaching
Attending church provides believers the opportunity to grow spiritually through Biblical teaching and preaching. According to a 2020 study by Barna, 73% of practicing Christians say they attend church to help them become closer to God.
The preaching and explanation of Scripture nourishes our faith and equips us to apply Biblical principles to life (Acts 2:42; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
For example, expository preaching walks verse-by-verse through Biblical passages, providing context and meaning. Topical preaching addresses specific themes or issues Christians face today. Both explain the relevance of Scripture in a way we may not grasp on our own.
Homilies typically integrate the day’s Scripture reading with an application to daily living.
Sacraments and Ordinances
Churches provide believers the opportunity to participate in sacraments and ordinances like baptism and Holy Communion. These practices remind us of spiritual realities and blessings that are ours in Christ.
For instance, baptism illustrates Christ’s death and resurrection, as well as our death to sin and new life in Him (Romans 6:3-4). The Lord’s Supper reminds us of Jesus’ sacrificial death on our behalf and the covenant we have with Him through His blood (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
When believers fellowship through these traditions, we declare our common faith.
For Fellowship and Mutual Encouragement
Encourage one another
Going to church provides believers the opportunity to encourage and uplift one another in faith. As Hebrews 10:25 reminds us, we should not give up meeting together. When Christians assemble, we can spur each other on toward love and good deeds through fellowship, testimonies and worship together (Hebrews 10:24).
Attending church allows us to care for each other and motivate one another to continue pursuing Christ amidst life’s challenges. The body of Christ grows stronger when believers make the intentional effort to step into community, offering compassion, wisdom, hope and strength to their brothers and sisters in the Lord.
In the Bible, we find countless “one another” passages, instructing Christians to love, accept, serve, bear with, forgive, teach, and pray for fellow believers. These acts of mutual care and discipleship happen most consistently within the context of the local church.
As we share life together, we grow relationally and spiritually. Church provides a dedicated time and place to focus on others, apart from our typical routines and responsibilities. We make ourselves available to invest in relationships and supply what may be missing in someone’s faith.
Attending worship services regularly allows Christians to identify needs, demonstrate care, and offer assistance. We can provide meals for those who are sick or grieving. We can extend grace to those struggling with sin patterns.
We can pray for breakthroughs, victories and challenges disclosed during services. We bear burdens together through ongoing connection at church. The New Testament underscores how vital Christian community is for persevering in faith.
Carry each other’s burdens
One key reason we go to church is to help carry each other’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 reminds us to bear one another’s burdens and restore those who fall into sin gently. As believers, we are called to come alongside those weighed down by the challenges of life and faith.
We are instructed to restore gently those overtaken by sin, realizing we also could succumb to temptation (Galatians 6:1).
Attending church exposes us to the pain and brokenness within Christ’s body. As we hear testimonies and spend time together, we become aware of issues the church faces corporately and individually. We then can intercede in prayer and provide comfort, counsel and care.
Through small groups, mentor relationships and service teams, we partner to lift loads too heavy for anyone to bear alone.
Church also equips believers with spiritual truth to combat burdens like fear, worry and insecurity. As we study the Bible, we access divine wisdom that liberates us from all weights hindering our walk with Jesus.
We can apply God’s Word as a weapon against spiritual attacks trying to derail our destiny in God. The church assembles to worship, declaring gospel truths that break chains and strongholds holding people hostage. There is freedom in God’s presence and power when believers unite.
Carrying each other’s burdens looks like mourning with those who mourn and rejoicing with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). It includes restoring those who fall into temptation, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving freely and showing mercy (Galatians 6:1-2, Colossians 3:12-13).
We are called to speak truth in love to one another and encourage each other daily (Ephesians 4:15, Hebrews 3:13). As we commit to gathering regularly, we commit to sharing each other’s joys and pains.
For Accountability and Discipline
Attending church provides believers with accountability and discipline in their spiritual walks. By coming together regularly as a community of faith, Christians can encourage one another, bear one another’s burdens, and stir up love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Believers keep each other accountable to live Godly lives that honor Christ. They can confess sins to one another and pray for each other so that they may be healed (James 5:16).
The discipline of regularly gathering for worship and teaching also encourages believers to study God’s Word. As Pastor John Piper says, “The Word of God is the food by which faith grows strong.” By digging deep into scripture together at church, Christians bolster their understanding of biblical doctrine and can better discern false teaching.
They benefit from skilled pastors trained in theology who can accurately exegete passages and provide insight into their meaning. And by putting what they learn at church into practice, believers can develop spiritual discipline and maturity.
For Worship and Praise
Going to church provides us with an opportunity to worship God together with other believers. As the Bible says, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
Gathering together allows us to praise God openly and freely, singing hymns and spiritual songs to Him (Colossians 3:16). It also allows us to hear the Word of God preached, as Paul instructed Timothy: “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13).
Attending church reinforces that God is the center of our life. The act of worship centers our focus back on God and takes our eyes off the things of this world. It reminds us of how great and powerful God is and how we must humble ourselves before Him.
As David said, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness” (Psalm 29:2). Therefore, making worship a priority by going to church realigns our perspective in a way that glorifies God.
Going to church also provides us with encouragement from other believers. By worshipping together and hearing God’s Word proclaimed, we can spur each other on toward righteousness and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25). We are energized and motivated to continue pursuing godliness in our lives.
The author of Hebrews specifically pointed out the need to meet together regularly to provide encouragement.
Attending church reinforces our Christian identity. When we worship with other believers, we are declaring our association with Jesus Christ. We are proclaiming that we are part of God’s family. Paul wrote that we are members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19).
Going to church identifies us with Christ in a public way. It is a statement that our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).
Therefore, according to the Bible, attending church provides an opportunity for vital worship and praise of our Lord. It realigns us spiritually, provides encouragement from fellow Christians, and reinforces our identity in Christ.
Making corporate worship a consistent priority clearly demonstrates what we value most – bringing glory to God.
To Discover and Use Spiritual Gifts
Attending church provides believers with opportunities to discover and utilize the unique spiritual gifts God has blessed them with. As the apostle Paul wrote, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:4).
When Christians gather together, we can learn about spiritual gifts and determine how God intends for us to employ them.
Gifts are Supernatural Abilities from the Holy Spirit
Spiritual gifts represent specific competencies and skills supernaturally bestowed upon followers of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit to build up fellow believers and further God’s kingdom. Examples of spiritual gifts mentioned in Scripture include administration, discernment, encouragement, evangelism, faith, healing, hospitality, interpretation of tongues, knowledge, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, teaching, giving, and wisdom (Rom.
12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:8-10, 28-30).
Attending a local church creates opportunities to discover spiritual gifts through taking assessment tests, receiving feedback from leaders and peers, trying different ministry roles, engaging with mentors, and meditating on Scripture.
As believers identify their gifts, they can pursue training and equipping to further cultivate them.
Using Gifts to Serve Others and Glorify God
Once believers understand their spiritual gifts, God calls them to actively utilize these gifts to serve fellow Christians, demonstrate Christlike love, and glorify Him. For example, those gifted with encouragement can lift up the downtrodden, while servants can care for the sick or aid the poor.
Here are some key reasons believers should employ their spiritual gifts:
- Bring glory to God (1 Peter 4:10-11)
- Show love by meeting needs (Galatians 5:13)
- Edify other Christians (1 Corinthians 14:26)
- Work together as one body (Romans 12:4-6)
- Fulfill God’s purposes (Ephesians 2:10)
When Christians gather as a church body, our spiritual gifts complement one another beautifully as God designed them to operate in harmony. We must faithfully develop and utilize these gifts in serving one another.
|Bible studies, sermons, counseling
|Helping the sick/needy, hospitality
|Writing cards, hospital visits
|Financially supporting ministry needs
|Overseeing ministries and teams
Attending a supportive church community creates an environment where believers can discern spiritual gifts and learn to actively utilize them to build up fellow Christians and further God’s work (1 Corinthians 12:7). We must humbly and passionately use what God provides.
To discover more on why developing spiritual gifts at church is vital for every Christian, check out the excellent resources on GotQuestions.org.
To Fulfill Christ’s Great Commission
Going to church helps Christians fulfill the Great Commission that Jesus gave his followers before ascending into heaven. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commanded his disciples: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
This passage is known as the Great Commission – Jesus’ final orders to spread the gospel and make disciples across the world. By regularly attending and serving in a local church, Christians can participate in fulfilling this vital mission.
Here are some key ways that being part of a church helps us carry out the Great Commission:
- Hearing Biblical teaching – Church services teach us more about God’s word and equip us to share our faith with others.
- Receiving training and support – Churches offer classes, mentoring programs, and other resources to help us become better evangelists and disciple-makers.
- Pooling resources – A community of believers can pull together time, talents, and money to support outreach efforts in ways that individual Christians cannot.
- Reaching the lost – Local churches provide a natural context for inviting non-believers to hear the gospel and come to faith in Jesus.
- Making connections – Churches help connect us with ministry partners and networks around the world to expand the reach of our disciple-making.
Here are some examples of how churches today are seeking to live out the Great Commission:
- Holding evangelistic outreach events to introduce non-believers to Jesus
- Supporting homegrown missionaries as well as foreign missions
- Equipping members with training on personal evangelism and making disciples
- Leveraging technology and media to spread the gospel worldwide
- Planting new churches, both locally and abroad
- Sending out short-term mission teams on gospel-centered projects
- Building relationships with unreached people groups to understand their needs
Of course, fulfilling the Great Commission requires all believers to get involved, not just clergy. We need an “all hands on deck” mentality. As members of Christ’s body, we each have a role to play based on our spiritual gifts and circumstances.
Some may go, some may give, some may pray, some may mobilize others, but we must all do our part. By linking up with a Gospel-focused local church, we can find our place in God’s global purpose.
In conclusion, Scripture clearly demonstrates that involvement in a local church provides immense spiritual benefit and enables Christians to grow in faith and service. By participating in a church community, we can worship God, live out our faith alongside other believers, use our gifts, spread the Gospel and honor Christ through obedience to His Great Commission.
Though no church is perfect, commitment to a local congregation is a biblical model that has stood the test of time. When engaged in a healthy, Bible-based church, believers can thrive and transform the world for Christ.