Many people give many different reasons for not going to church. Some claim the building will collapse on them if they enter a church. Others consider themselves to be too good to associate with the hypocrites that attend. Others have had bad experiences while at church and some have been hurt by someone in authority. If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you have an obligation to attend church. Hebrews 10 commands all Christians to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.” None of the reasons offered by people professing to be Christians justify disobedience to the commands of God.
Yes, there are many problems within churches. No minister is perfect, no church is without flaw. Every one who attends brings some evil habit, bad attitude or wrong desire with him into the church. Despite these problems (or maybe because of these problems) the Christian needs to be in church. However, the not every problem in a church should be overlooked, there are some churches you simply should not attend. You should not attend a church whose teachings disagree with the Bible, especially if they disagree with the major truths of the Bible about salvation, God, Jesus and Scriptures. You should not attend a church that knowingly allows its leaders to live in sin. While you should try to find the best church you can, you should not expect any church you attend to be free from problems, nor should it surprise you if the church goes through a time of intense troubles. The church is filled with people who are struggling with sins. They may be saved (just because someone attends church is absolutely no guarantee they are Christian), but they are still imperfect. Some of them may be all out hypocrites, who live one way on Sunday and completely different during the week. That’s still not a good reason to not go to church. Refusing to go to church because of the sinful people that attend is like refusing to go to the doctor’s office because there are always sick people there. If you are a Christian, you need the church. You need sound preaching and teaching from the Bible. You need a pastor to care for your soul. You need other Christians to interact with you and help you be more obedient to God’s Word. You cannot live the Christian life apart from church.
The church is far greater than the buildings, the ministers or the people who attend. The church is God’s only institution designed to strengthen believers and shape believers so that they look like Christ. Only in the church can we gather with other believers in common worship of God, lifting up together our praise and thanksgiving for His salvation, His Holy Spirit, His grace, His love and His strength which allows us to live lives pleasing to Him. Only in the church do we find the accountability of brothers and sisters who love us, who want to help us look like Christ and who are willing to invest themselves into us. Only in the church do you have the ability to create relationships under the authority of the Word of God, the protection of the church leadership, based on the common ground of salvation and brotherhood in the family of God. God has commanded Christians to attend church. When we obey that command, we find that God blesses our obedience, giving us a family that is built on the love of God. Some of the reasons folks give for not going to church are real issues that need to be fixed, but they do not mean you get to disobey God’s command to “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.” Find a good church that you can attend, get under the regular preaching of the Bible and get involved with the lives of other Christians. Join yourself to a local church that believes, practices and teaches the Word of God.