"Do I Have To Go To Church?"

April 07, 2024 | By Chuck

I have been asked many questions over the last 25 years in ministry. Some of them I honestly do not have an answer for. Others I can point to a text or verse in the Bible to give clarity. But then there is this question: “Do I have to go to church?” I think what is really in question is do I have to attend church to go to heaven. I really want to go to heaven, so can I make it to heaven without going to church? In other words, what is the least I can do to make the cut for heaven? It is a lazy and selfish mindset that says I want to do what I want on Sunday, but I still want to go to heaven.

            Personally, I think that question is all wrong. As we grow spiritually, we should see that question should not even be a question. Drawing nearer to Jesus in a personal relationship changes that question to, “I get to go to worship.” It is a privilege and honor to gather with the church and worship our Lord. I never leave worship in the same mood I was in when I arrived. I may come to worship tired and not really feeling like being there, but I leave uplifted, encouraged, and excited every time. I feel better leaving worship because I have praised, honored, and served God.

            Another thing to consider a privilege about worship is the wonderful brothers and sisters you share that time with. The church is family. We don’t just sit together in the same building at the same time each week and do the same things in hopes of pleasing God and getting to heaven. The church, the people we worship with, are our family and families love and care for each other. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are those we do life with, the good, the bad, and even the ugly part. These are the people who know us best and love us anyway. That smile, holy hug or handshake, and encouraging word on Sunday help us leave worship better than we were when we arrived. The encouragement we give and receive on Sunday at worship is grossly underrated. We need it and are better Christians because of it.

            “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you – that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” (Romans 1:11-12) Do I have to go to church? My answer is simple, I get to go to church and I am a better Christian and servant for it.