Have you ever asked yourself, what’s the point of going to church? After all, you’re probably a good person, and you believe in God…so what difference does it make if I attend all the time or just every once in a while? In order to answer that question, I need to explain what the church is. The word, “Church”, comes from a Greek word and means a group of people, an assembly, a mob—basically it’s a group of people. Now, you know, there are lots of groups, mobs, organizations, clubs, fraternities, sororities, assemblies, etc…, but not all of them are churches. According to the Bible the church refers to people called out or called together for a specific purpose—and all of the Bible verses about the purpose of the church can be summarized into two categories.
The first category of things the church exists for is to honor God. Believing in God is one thing—honoring God is another (see James 2:19). When the people who make up the church come together our first purpose is to honor God. We call this worship. Worship is expressing respect, reverence, praise, devotion, and love towards God. Worship is the natural response to believing in the God of the Bible and the Gospel. Paul told us that the Gospel, or good news of the Bible is, “that Jesus died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day…” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4) Later he simplified it even more by saying the Gospel(Romans 1:16) is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” If we believe the Bible, if we believe the Gospel, then we have to realize two very important things. One, people need to be saved. Two, God saved us by having Jesus die on the cross. Once we believe these two things, then our only response to God is worship.
The second category is that the church exists for you. Over and over in the Bible, the Christians that make up the group of people called the church are given instructions. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us to encourage one another in doing good things. It’s hard to encourage others or be encouraged if you are absent. 1 Corinthians 12:26-27 tells us that we are supposed to suffer and celebrate together. When one mourns, we all mourn—when one celebrates, we all celebrate. How sad it is when people are without others to cheer them on and celbrate successes—or face grief, disease and sorrow alone. Galatians 6:1-2 reminds us to restore other Christians who are ensnared in sin. These verses imply a relationship between believers, where we know the struggles of fellow believrs and we help them, encourage them, and hold them to account. Ephesians 4:12 reminds us that God put people in the church with different responsibilites to help all of us grow “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.”
Church can change you for the better—but only if you actually attend, make it important and you invest yourself in it.