why do we need to go to church

Why do you go to church each week? To worship God? Do you go to sing and hear the sermon? What about going for fellowship? According to a recent survey by the Barna Group, people say they go to church for two main reasons: to grow closer to God and to learn more about Him. The sad part is that most people donБt feel close to God, and they donБt learn more about Him. In fact, according to BarnaБs research, just 6 percent of those people who have ever been to church say they learned something about God or Jesus the last time they were there. ItБs good that you go to church to learn more about God or Jesus. And itБs good that you go to sing, hear the sermon, and fellowship. But let me give you another reason to go to church, and itБs one that you can use the next time youБre there: Go to church to
encourage one another. The Old Testament word for encourage means Бto strengthen,Б while the New Testament word means Бto comfort. Б Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.

Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. To encourage means to Бcome alongside of. Б To encourage others, we need to reach out and help them. We can do that by recognizing what God has done through them. We also encourage people by not discouraging them, by listening to them, praying with them and for them, and taking their concerns seriously. Encouragement is important because so much is at stake. Hebrews 10:25 tells us to not give up our Бmeeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another Б and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Б Many people donБt go to church because they donБt think it is important, thinking they can just do church at home. That is not what the Bible says. It says we need to go to church to encourage one another.

LetБs meet together this coming week not only to praise God but to encourage one another. б Barna Group, БAmericans Divided on the Importance of Church,Б barna. org. The Biblical pattern for church is this: It's good to have leaders overseeing the work and needs of each local church - this is the Biblical pattern - not all of us are called to church leadership, and so we should submit to, and serve whoever God has called to lead at the place we find ourselves (see Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; Philippians 1:1b; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 1 Peter 5:1-2; Acts 20:17; ) If there are believers who are unable for physical reasons to attend a church weekly, they should find a church or believers who will gather together with them regularly for worship in their own home. (see James 5:14; James 1:27) Here are 4 powerful reasons why you should attend church weekly, and why church attendance can change your life: 1. God Said So God tells us in His Word to "not give up meeting together. " (Hebrews 10:25) The Bible even goes so far as to call the Church the "Bride of Christ. " If you love Jesus, you will love the things that He loves, and there is no one a good man loves more than His bride.

The Church is this important to God, so it should be ever-important to us. God didn't call us to gather and worship to burden us, but to bless us. Church attendance can become one of the greatest blessings in you and your family's life! 2. Worshipping Jesus Together is Powerful Jesus lives inside of us by His Spirit when we believe in Him - this is a profoundly incredible truth! But there is also something biblically powerful about gathering together with other believers to worship. Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. " (Matthew 18:20) So he is not only lives in us by His Spirit, but He is in the "midst" of us when we gather to worship Him. 3. We Need Christian Community All of us long for community and connection with others. God has given us this gift in gathering together for church, and in smaller groups in each other's homes. It fulfills something inside of us to do life with others, encourage each other and be authentically involved in each other's lives.

Christian TV, podcasts, books and conferences are wonderful additions to our spiritual lives, but nothing can take the place of consistent Christian community through the local church. 4. We Grow More Together Than Alone It can be messy when we step into each other's lives. We are all human, and no one is perfect. So it requires effort and intentionality and grace from God to do life together, even as believers. Gathering regularly with other believers becomes a refining process whereby we help each other, pray for each other and encourage each other to want to follow Christ more wholeheartedly. It is a truly beautiful thing. Don't let excuses stand in the way of what you know God is calling you to do. God will strengthen you, and empower you to do what He has called you to do. I am praying for you -- if you have encountered past wounds from leaders or from church members -- that God will bring healing and grace to you, as you seek to follow Him, and love His Church.

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