Can you be a Christian and not go to church? It is something I have been thinking about, because I have not been to church for three weeks. However, in my defense I can say it is not by choice. The sprit is willing. Unfortunately the body is not. And I miss it.
I miss leading the congregation in song. Thankfully God has provided others to step up in the interim and help out in that way. I miss hearing God’s Word preached and our pastor’s sermons. I miss hearing people praying for each other. It is often during those times I find out things I may not know about people who need God’s healing or special touch. I miss the friendly conversations after church over morning tea. I miss being able to encourage others and to be encouraged by them in my Christian walk.
Some people may say, but a relationship with Christ is a personal thing between me and the Lord. I only need prayer and bible study. I don’t need to go to church. The bible tells us otherwise. Believers are urged in Hebrews 10:25 to ‘not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.’ Note the reason for this. It is not so we can worship God, although that is part of it. But we can worship God anywhere, any time. We don’t need to be in church to do it. The reason for getting together as believers is to encourage one another. Is that the way you view church as your opportunity to encourage others?
Too often, people go to church for what they can get out of it rather than what they can give. If we cared more about giving than receiving we would welcome the stranger in our church, we would listen to other people’s troubles, we would pray for and with them, we would offer practical support and we would be obedient to God’s Word by going to church regularly.