FAQ :: Do I need to go to church?

“And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near” (Heb. 10:24-25, The NetBible).

This verse is often given as a proof text requiring Christians to attend weekly meetings at a “church.” Churches, in this day and age, are usually referred to as buildings erected for the sole purposes of worshipping God and preaching His Word. However, the word “church” is taken from the Greek word ekklesia, which means the people of God, the collective body of believers, congregation, assembly, and the body of Christ, according to Nave’s Topical Bible. Hence, the Church is not an organization; it is an organism. It’s a living group of people who have one mind about them; Jesus is Lord.

Therefore, one really never goes to church; one goes to be with the Church, or the group of believers. My pastor says there is no such thing as a lone Christian who is left to himself. Proverbs 27:17 clearly states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Hebrews 3:13 also states, “Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Clearly, we need each other to keep us going. If we separate ourselves from the group of believers who have the same basic beliefs as we do, how long will it be before you start conforming to the world around you?

Now, I don’t believe you must attend services in a building that is affiliated with a denomination to be considered to be in fellowship with other believers. You could be in something as informal as a neighborhood meeting attended to by one appointed to be its leader. The only thing I would suggest is that you make sure the group you join holds to the essential and basic truths of the Bible before you commit yourself to that group, as with any group or “church.” But I do not believe there is anything in the Bible that would condemn that kind of assembly. As a matter of fact, I believe that members of the first-century Church met in each other’s homes and nothing in the Bible ever condemned them for doing such.