Does it make me a bad Christian if I don’t attend Church?
This can be quite the hot topic whenever I’ve brought it up among some of my Christian friends and family over the years. Please note that this blog post is written in my own personal opinion.
I was brought up Christian, in face my dad was a Minister for many years so as you can imagine I was fully entangled in the way of Church life. Every Sunday I knew what was expected of me and even if I didn’t feel like going at times especially when I questioned my faith (as we all will and do…don’t lie to yourself) I still felt like I had to go to not let my parents down.
However, long story short – when I was in my twenties my time attending Church came to a pretty abrupt ending and that was that. I removed myself completely, but that didn’t mean I suddenly stopped believing in God and didn’t have a relationship with God.
What Does The Bible Say About Attending Church?
The Bible encourages us to get together as believers and to uplift, motivate and inspire one another.
Hebrews 10:25 says, ‘Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching. (NIV)
God wants us to be in relationship with other Christians, as part of Christ’s body we will recognize our need to fit into a body of believers. Church is the place we come together to encourage one another as member’s of Christ’s body.
Matthew 18:20, ‘For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.’
Ephesians 4:11-13 says, ‘So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’
What better place to achieve what God wants or wills for us than at Church. We come together to worship, hear the word and learn, pray and encourage one another to go fourth and prosper through God.
In my time away from attending Church my relationship with God did change, I went through phases of feeling distant and wandering away but I always find my way back because although at times for whatever reason we pull away from God, but God never pulls away or withdraws from you. How amazing and comforting to know.
I believe not going to Church doesn’t make you any less of a Christian and although you may have a had a mixture of experiences at Church some good, some unfortunately bad; I would still encourage you to try again. Find a new Church, experiment with what’s in your area for example, Baptist Church, Pentecostal Church, Evangelical Church, Methodist Church. Go along to a Sunday Service and find what’s right for you or where you feel most ‘at home’.
What You Might Be Missing
One thing I know I was missing in my years away from Church was worship. Every now and then at home I might listen to a Christian song on my Alexa or put Premier Christian (https://www.premierchristianradio.com/) radio on in the car, but I’m married to a non-Christian who would rather listen to much more mainstream music.
John 4:23, ‘But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.‘
Isiah 12:5, ‘Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.‘
Hebrews 13:15, ‘Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.‘
One thing is clear, worship is important. Whether you do it alone or with others it is still worship and God knows that and loves worship. Please continue singing as loud as you can in the car or quietly listening with headphones and singing along in your head whilst on your busy commute, God just wants to be in the forefront of your mind. As a Christian you have to try and live in ‘his’ image and what a challenge that truly is because God holds the highest standard but the good news is, he’s also the most forgiving.
Don’t worry too much about how it looks to others if you don’t go to Church; you and God know what’s in your heart and that’s what counts.
However, I would like to encourage to attend Church. If you’ve moved area or haven’t been in a while (for me I hadn’t been consistently going to Church for about six years when I ventured back out there), pray for confidence and courage to put yourself out there and find a new ‘home’ Church; you won’t regret it.
If this isn’t a decision you’re ready to make yet, I encourage you to pray about it and really reflect on why you’ve made that decision. A good and helpful way to do this also is to use a daily devotional journal like the one below, it contains a different passage from the Bible for every day and space for you to write about how you feel or use it as a prayer journal.
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