Do Christians have to go to church?
The short answer is no... but keep reading!
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Christians are never explicitly commanded to attend church in scripture, but as you can see from Hebrews 10:24-25, we are encouraged to do so. Not attending church isn’t a sin or something that will keep you from being a Christian, but church is a highly influential part of your walk with God.
So here are three reasons you should go to church:
When we go to church, we have the opportunity for corporate worship with other believers, something we can’t do alone at home. We can also worship God through our tithes and offerings.
“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)
As Christians, it is so important that we surround ourselves with strong believers who will encourage our relationship with God. If you are only surrounded by non-believers (for example at school) all the time, they may eventually drag you down or slow down your faith, no matter how strong you are.
Fellowship (or sharing in community) with other Christians will build you up in your walk with God, and also give you the opportunity to encourage others.
God calls us to be part of His family, and to bring our spiritual gifts together to further glorify Him. If we aren’t in church, we can’t do this. We’re not only missing out on blessing others with our gifts but also being blessed.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
By going to church, you also strengthen your relationship with the Father. By setting aside time to worship Him, you are showing Him that your relationship with Him is important.
"Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.” (Psalm 65:4)
What if I can't make it to church?
Listening to worship music is very helpful in turning your heart towards God, and it can be a good substitute to the worship you are missing at church. Not sure where to start? Check out Hillsong United, Passion, Chris Tomlin or Kari Jobe.
Find an online Bible Study community, or find a local Bible study or youth group to have fellowship with others your age. Not sure where to start? Check out Community Bible Study or studentdevos.com.
If you can’t attend church, make an effort to spend time in God’s word and in prayer daily. By reading God’s word, you’re allowing God to speak to you. Not sure where to start? Check out this daily Bible reading plan. Read this Fervr article for more Bible reading ideas.