Why Going to Church Is Important

Some people claim to be Christians but don’t attend church. They say, “Well, I haven’t found a church I like yet, and I work and Sunday is my only day off!” But if you really love God, you will love His people and long to be with them.

The Bible indeed commands us to go to church, and—even more—to be a functioning part of it. Hebrews 10:24–25 says, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (NKJV).

I like the way the New Living Translation puts it: “Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.” The Bible does not say: Don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves together unless Sunday is your only day off, or unless you want to run in a triathlon, or unless it’s a great beach day, in which case you are excused, because you just don’t need fellowship as much as other Christians do.

Yes, if you love God, you will love His people and long to be with them. If you don’t really love God, you won’t love His people. Some will say “I’m so over the church; people are critical and judgmental. It’s so full of hypocrites!” My response to that is: there is always room for one more! Understand, I am not justifying hypocrisy of any kind, but honestly, we have all been hypocritical at times. But that is not a reason to not attend church. The church has its flaws because people are in it. However, Jesus both started and loves the church. He died for it.

Being in fellowship is a proof that you are indeed a child of God. It says in 1 John 3:14, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death” (NIV). Psalm 133:1 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (NKJVM). Not going to church is a proof that something is wrong with you spiritually. We read in 1 John 2:19, “These people left our churches because they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left us, it proved that they do not belong with us” (NLT).

Studies show that if you don’t go to church for a month, the odds are almost 2 to 1 that you won’t go for more than a year. Being a vital and active part of the church is something we pass on to our kids. A study once disclosed that: If both Mom and Dad attend church regularly, 72% of their children remain faithful in attendance; if only Dad attends regularly, 55% remain faithful; if only Mom attends regularly, 15% remain faithful; and if neither attend regularly, only 6% remain faithful.

What legacy will you leave your kids? Are you committed to demonstrating to them that going to church is important?

10 thoughts on “Why Going to Church Is Important

  1. Kathleen

    Dear Father,
    I want to thank you so much for this message You have given me today through Pastor Greg. I am very thankful to Harvest and the wisdom it continues to provide for me. Thank you, Lord. Thank you. Amen

  2. Leon Lorenzo

    I like what is being encouraged here. It makes clear work, (I’d add hobbies and family) and other excuses to neglect church family, are unbilical. And if there’s no desire, you may not be a true believer. Jesus calls us not just “to go to church.” He calls us to “be a functioning part of it. The article doesn’t specify, but foundational to “being a functioning part of it” includes being discipled, and making disciples. “Going to church” MIGHT result in discipleship, IF the church 1)has people equipped to commit to becoming a part of each others lives, 2)with seasoned believers reaching out to new people, and 3)build trust and accountability with them. If people who haven’t been discipled to maturity, try to disciple others, it can be a real mess. Some church communities lower the bar to just “go to church,” rather than going by the bar Jesus set. To teach all He’s shown and commanded, to be discipled and make disciples, and spread to other places. Thanks for posting this.

  3. Judy Thomas

    I am a Christian and I am a member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church. I listen to Greg Laurie every day.

  4. Nadine Cosenza

    Please pray for my prodigal daughter. She is now 38 years old living with this guy she has a 3 1/2 year old daughter from another guy who now is in jail. She was living with someone else prior to the present guy she is living with and my granddaughter calls him daddy. My daughter has really made a mess of her life and now my granddaughter’s life. But I know through it all my Redeemer Lives and He will get the glory through this mess!! I believe and have believed for 30 years. Thank you for praying for my daughter, granddaughter and family. I’m the “Lone Christian”!! But Jesus is always by my side. Praise God for His Love and Mercy!! In Christ, Nadine

  5. Dan Brown

    I 100% agree I have been attending Harvest Riverside for 10 years now I serve in the parking lot Ministry for the last eight years also I’m on the children security team I also serve in singles Ministry I also do gatekeeping at the Crusades and there’s a whole lot more that I do and if you want to say hi to me look for the guy that smiles a lot in the parking lot or second service children’s ministry security God bless

  6. Darleen Smith

    Thank you for your email and thank you for the time you give to God’s people. You are indeed gifted as a speaker and I love listening to you whenever I can. You do the sermons in Greg speak, and this makes it so much a message of today (although we all know it is eternal) . And yes I do attend a church here in Desert Hot Springs. Go to Christian Center under the leadership of Pastor Ronn Hobbs. I am delighted that God Himself led me here from Washington (Tacoma) where I started attending Life Center church about 5 years ago. God has shown me much and I am thankful. Continue the work He gave you as you are an excellent speaker and He could not have found a better one to speak the words He desires His people to hear.
    Faithful believer, Darleen Smith

  7. JoAnn Beier

    This is so true. I will be 72 on Fri and I have family only 5 hours away to the east and the south. No other relatives. I keep getting questions are you going to move to Oshkosh OR Worthington and I say why would I. Well, because we think you should be near family. Neither side – siblings OR stepkids are even attending church. They don’t think it’s necessary. I see all of them only if I go to where they are. SO, my church family is who I feel closest to. My concern is that maybe God would want me to be there witnessing to them. However I do say my things as I feel I should, knowing I am only to tell them how important Jesus is in their lives. If they aren’t interested or basically think I’m fanatical, should I move OR live by my church family. I don’t see them like a true family either, but I feel connected because of our beliefs. What say you?

  8. Diana

    I agree Pastor Greg and am blessed to live in Laguna and attend Harvest OC Sundays and Thursdays, your teaching is a blessing. My son is in the junior high ministry and looks forward to church.

    Thank you for all the resources that you have for us at Harvest.

    God Bless,


  9. Ken Carpenter

    This is all good stuff but …. just like tonight in Wednesday night bible study one of the women was stating that her husband will not go to church, but claims he is good with God and he prays but shows no sign of either desire or want to get involved. The only advise I had for her was that God is a God of detail and her prayer must be specific and to ask God to have someone come into her husbands life and share Gods promise with him. That advise always seems so shallow even though its so powerful. What else could I have shared with her to give her hope and to build her faith. I did tell her that if she did try what I suggested that is true Faith and trust in our God . I’m not a Pastor just another sinner saved by His grace thanks for your time be blessed. Ken Carpenter Porterville, CA.

  10. Sheilah

    Thank you for this memo. I have been having this conversation with one of my boys who stopped attending church several months ago. He had a few unfavorable encounters with men at Harvest. He became discouraged. I explained to him that church was made up of just men, who are fallible. I thank you for this memo that confirms words we spoke and verses we covered together. He is a good boy. Just never had a good male role model. When I took him in, I was a single mom, but God guided me. Now he is married with children. God always answers prayers that are prayed with Him in mind. I will share this memo with him. He is reaching, but needs a little more guidance. Thanks again.

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