I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.
Just because it’s parked in the garage doesn’t make it a car. But to be honest, I park my car in my garage. That is where it belongs.
I used to believe and follow that first line of thought. I don’t have to go to church. God and I are good.
What I was missing was the whole picture – out there beyond myself. You see, Christianity isn’t about you.
God chose for you to be here in this time and place for a reason. He has good works for you to do. He has children who need you – His children. And, oh, by the way, you need them.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)
I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14-15 ESV)
The Fellowship of the Believers
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47 ESV)
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (Romans 12:4-5 ESV)
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: (1 Peter 4:8-10 ESV)
Do a quick google search of the “one anothers” in scripture. To walk as Christians means that we must walk together through this life. God uses us as iron sharpening iron. As we serve, we are blessed. Christians who understand the things of God and who personally know Jesus Christ go to church. It isn’t always easy or pleasant; people are there. But God has grace enough for all of us. We learn to show love and to serve when we don’t feel like it. We grow up and get over ourselves. We learn to walk in humility, or God will humble us publicly.
You are right, you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. But when you stop attending church regularly, you stop growing in Christ, you stop serving the body, you lose the blessings of being part of the body. Most importantly you stop obeying God. So are you really following Jesus?
Ask God to give you a love for the body of Jesus Christ. Make it a habit, a practice, to be engaged in the lives of the people at your church. Learn to live in true community with them. Be vulnerable and honest. Trust God. Learn how to love others well.
He will open the gates of the storehouse and pour out blessings that you can’t even imagine.
Be encouraged. Attend church. Press on.