It’s not always easy to wake up early on Sunday mornings, get ready and go to church. There are some days I would just rather stay in bed for an extra hour.
I tell myself that it wouldn’t be a big deal to skip: going to church doesn’t make me a Christian. I can read my Bible from home and I can play my favorite worship playlist on Pandora. And none of those things are wrong. Going to church certainly doesn’t make someone a Christian, and we are supposed to read and worship from home throughout the week.
So why, then, are churches important? Why do we even have churches to go to?
Because fellowship with other Christians is necessary for a healthy relationship with God.
Throughout college I didn’t go to church very much. I was always “too tired” or “had too much homework,” when really I just wanted to watch Netflix or go to the baseball game instead. I would go when my parents were in town, and that was pretty much it.
I knew that I should be going to church, but I told myself that going to church in college was only important because I didn’t need to lose the habit of going. Thinking back, that was a pathetic reason to go to church. And obviously it wasn’t even convincing because I still didn’t make it to church most Sundays.
I wasn’t worried about skipping church because I knew that my salvation didn’t rest on my attendance record (and thank God for that). But what I ignored was that my spiritual health and relationship with God were suffering because of it.
A lot of people will say that the Church isn’t a building, and it’s absolutely true. The Church is the assembly of believers. Attending church isn’t about the building. Going to church is about spending time with God and spending time with fellow believers. I believe a healthy relationship with God grows from relationships with Christ-followers; it allows you to share in the joy of Christ with others and have like-minded people to bring your burdens to and ask your questions.
I personally believe that nothing can compare to the physical church experience. The support, encouragement and joy that come from being part of large community of believers can’t be replicated in situations outside church walls. Attending a physical church benefits more than just through the church service. It provides an avenue through which Christians can serve the church, the community, the country and the world. It provides fellow Christians to lean on and hold you accountable in your faith.
I recently began the membership process at the church I’ve been attending in Birmingham. Membership at The Church at Brook Hills will require me to move my membership from the church that I grew up in.
My childhood church was where my parents met, the community I was born into, where I gave my heart to God, where I graduated high school and college. It was all I had known for 22 years. But a year or so ago, I felt God pulling me away, telling me there was another place where I could better serve and love Him and my community.
I’ve only been attending Brook Hills for about six months, but it didn’t take long for me to feel right at home. As soon as I felt like I was being called to Brook Hills, I didn’t want to waste any time before becoming a member and getting involved. I want to really be part of a church again.
I encourage every Christian anywhere to find a church home where your spiritual needs are being met and where you can act on God’s command to “go and make disciples.”
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24–25