There is a trend ”out there” that would suggest we do not need church.  That we can go as far as our television, radio, or the web to get the teaching we need to be the kind of people God wants us to be.  I am not condemning any of these methods, because we use two of them ourselves (watch out TV – we’ll get to you one day!).  However, I am saying if that is all you are going to church for (or staying away from) – you are sorely missing the point.  I would add that if you believe going to church every Sunday is the sum total of your Christian experience – you are sorely missing the point as well.  There has to be more to the Christian experience than church, and church is more than a place to hear a good sermon – if you will pardon the obvious self-indulgent patting myself on the back.

There is much, much more to church than sermons.  Let’s start with our obligation as Christians to encourage one another. How about teach each other, or hold each other accountable?  In a post I read online recently it says:


It’s not membership as in a civic organization or a country club. It’s the kind of membership given to us in 1 Corinthians 12: “Now you are the body of Christ and individual members of it” (I Corinthians 12:27). Because I am a member of the body of Christ, I must be a functioning member, whether I am an “eye,” an “ear,” or a “hand.” As a functioning member, I will give. I will serve. I will minister. I will evangelize. I will study. I will seek to be a blessing to others. I will remember that “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).


We belong to each other.   We are expected (by God) to help each other, pray for each other, share with each other, care for each other.  Weep when they weep, rejoice when they rejoice.  Church is about checking up on each other, checking in with one another.  Church is about being salt and light in a community.  Church is about sharing the Great News that everyone is loved by God, wanted by God, and that Jesus made the way available to be with God.

Church is about knowing you are not alone in this world.  Church is proof there are people who love you, hope the best for you, pray for you, and are there for you.  People you can safely share your failures with, wish for better with, receive comfort from when life just seems to be stacked against you.

Church is about learning who you really are (who God made you to be).  Church is about discovering how you are gifted.  Church is about giving you safe opportunities to exercise your gifts.  Church is about learning how to minister to those around you.  Church is about allowing you to fail, but encouraging you to keep trying.

Let’s be honest; can you learn these things somewhere other than church?  Sure you can.  But church is the place designed by God to do all these things at once, and there is no better place than the church to learn them.

Another reason to stay in church is because the enemy is like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Remember, the animals that are out “on their own” get picked off first.

The bottom line is that you need church – and the church needs you.