Can I be a Christian and not go to Church?
Can I be a Christian and not go to church? There are a number of reasons why a Christian would ask this question. Perhaps you wonder if you can skip church some Sundays because you have to work, or would like to go on a holiday, or just rest at home. Or maybe you feel lost in a crowd, and would rather worship at home. And if you haven’t settled in a home church for a while, maybe you’re asking if you’re really missing anything. Well, are you?
By asking if a Christian can go to church, we might be settling for a lesser definition of church. Consider these:
Your Worth in the Body of Christ
1. What metaphor does the Apostle Paul use for the church in 1 Corinthians 12:27? According to the same verse (see also vv. 12-13), what is each believer – including you – in relation to the Body?
2. Read through 1 Corinthians 12:15-26. What is this passage saying about the value of each part or member of the Body? What does this passage mean about your importance in relation to the church?
3. Read through Romans 12:4-5. What does this say about your significance and belongingness, and that of others, to the Body?
The Value of the Body of Christ to You
4. Read Ephesians 4:1-16. What did Christ give to the Body and for what purpose? What will you miss if you skip out on Body life?
5. Read Hebrews 10:23-25. What are believers encouraged to do and why?
Jesus definitely had a greater plan for the church than being one of many options to go to on Sundays. Our Lord saw it as His Body, fulfilling His Kingdom plans in this world with Him.
Christians belong to the Body of Christ, the Church. Each one is a member of it, and each one belongs to the other. Based on this metaphor, any believer organically belongs to the church and misses out on growth — learning, maturing in Christ, serving the Kingdom and being built up in the faith, encouraging and being encouraged, burden-bearing with others and growing in love — apart from the experience of Body Life. Christ gave spiritual gifts and gifted men to the church to ensure that we all grow in its context. This is why Scripture encourages us not to give up meeting together.
In application, here are some questions to ponder:
Are you part of a local church? If not, considering God’s design for the church and the benefits of membership in the Body, take steps to join a Bible-believing church today where you can grow in your faith. (In the Philippines, there most likely is a Victory church in your locale. Check it out!)
If you are a member of a local church, have you made the most of the opportunities to grow with the rest of the Body of Christ? Check which of the following you will act on this week:
- Sign-up for a church membership class
- Attend a Bible study or theological class
- Be part of a discipleship group
- Sign up to serve in the church based on your spiritual gifts
- Invite others to church
- Disciple others
- Join a short-term mission trip
Tell your pastor or discipler about your desire to grow and contribute to the life of the church so he or she can pray for you, encourage you and keep you accountable!
Heavenly Father, thank You for the Church, that is the Body of Christ, to which every believer belongs. Thank You, too, for every local Bible-believing church, to which every believer can belong and grow together with other believers in love and in faith – so that as You lead, and together with You, we can help fulfill Your Kingdom purposes. Help us to experience the joy of walking together in fellowship, service, worship and love. Amen.