Church Attendance: Legalistic or Necessary?

This summer I have had the great privilege of preaching through the book of 1 John on Sunday mornings. Additionally, we just began a study of discipleship in our Wednesday evening EQUIP class. In both of these venues, we have learned the importance of church attendance for a follower of Christ. That phrase “church attendance” certainly sounds like an old-fashioned, legalistic, Southern Baptist term. For many it may be just that, but biblically, church attendance is much more important. In most of the New Testament epistles, some mention of regular and consistent “church attendance” is referenced or at least implied.

The apostle John expresses this in the second chapter of 1 John, when he mentions those “that have gone out from us… if they had been of us they would have continued with us” (1 John 2:19).  John is addressing those who fell victim to false teachers and rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ for a counterfeit gospel, originating from the spirit of the anti-christ. John continues in his letter to encourage believers with the biblical doctrine of eternal security. Because they have been born again and are anointed with the Holy Spirit, they will persevere and continue to gather together. The author of Hebrews echos the importance of “church attendance” when he states,

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 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)

The context of this passage makes this statement even more meaningful. The first century Christians, who were the original audience of this letter, were under extreme persecution because of their faith. Due to this persecution, and even the threat of being murdered, some had stopped  gathering together. The writer of Hebrews was admonishing these believers because their absence was seen as a denouncement of their faith.

While our lack of church attendance may not seem to be so serious, we are living in the same “last days, last hour, the Day, etc.” as these first century Christians. The practice, or lack thereof, of assembling together  has serious ramifications for the child of God. As we are learning in our Discipleship 101 course, a follower of Christ will have a sincere desire to join with other Christians on a consistent basis to grow in his faith. This is one of the main purposes of the Church.

 Given that gathering with our church family each week is essential, sometimes sickness or other emergencies hinders us from doing this. Additionally, many of our family are not physically able to attend. For this reason, I am thankful to announce our new partnership with WQUL 95.9 FM  , the Woodruff radio station. Our previous week services are now on the air each Sunday at 10:00 AM and Tuesday at 10:00 AM. So, if you unable to  gather with your family on Sunday morning for worship, you can stay abreast of our study of 1 John by tuning in to WQUL 95.9

The station can also be accessed with

For His Glory,

Your Pastor