Why Go to Church?

January 25, 2024

Why Go to Church?

Getting an oil change brought me a question I struggled to answer. In trying to witness to the gentlemen handling the checkout process, he informed me he was a believer in Jesus but that he didn’t go to church. I wanted to encourage him to be a part of a local church but felt inadequate in the moment to give a solid and encouraging biblical answer.

This interaction brings up a good question: does God want us to go to church? I believe the answer is yes. However, I think it should be stated differently; God wants us to be a part of a local church. But why?

God saves people into His church

When God saves people, He saves them into His church spiritually. People are grafted into the true people of God where God builds them together into a dwelling place for His Spirit. Believers already have a spiritual connection with the church due to their faith in Jesus. Being a part of a local church simply manifests this reality.

We would think it weird if a newly adopted child into a family decided to never see that family or participate in family life. Likewise, it is odd for believers never to see their spiritual family or participate in worship together with them.

Rom. 11:17
“and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,”

Ephesians 2:22
“In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

God desires the church to meet and encourage one another

The local church is a gift of God for our benefit. Here the Gospel is proclaimed in word and sacrament and encourages our faith to stay true to Jesus. The author of Hebrews wrote to a people struggling with going back to live under the Old Testament. He saw the church as a necessary part of remaining in and moving forward together in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christianity is a team sport and teams grow together.

Hebrews 10:24–25
24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25not 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.”

God gifts believers to serve His Church

Every believer in Jesus has been given at least one spiritual gift to bless and build up other believers. It is difficult to exercise that gift for others if you neglect to connect with them. God has designed His church body where each person has need of the gift of others and when we meet as the church we have the opportunity to use those gifts.

It would be sad to see a gifted artist stop painting, a gifted teacher who didn’t teach, or a gifted encourager who didn’t encourage. Gifts are to be given, not stored away.

1 Corinthians 12:7
“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

1 Corinthians 12:21–26
21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”

God desires the church to bear one another’s burdens

Believers still have struggles. However, God has given the church to help bear their burdens. It is difficult to find that help or be that help if you neglect to meet with other believers. What a comfort and support that God gives us in His church.

Galatians 6:1–2
1Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”


God desires believers to be a part of a local church. We believe this because He has saved us into His church and desires us to encourage, serve, and bear one another’s burdens. Part of abiding in Jesus is abiding with His people.

In sharing this with someone, you may encounter various responses that range from excuses to real life hindrances. I would encourage pointing excuses back to these verses. As for real life hindrances try finding a workable solution for them. Maybe their job requires them to work on a Sunday; find a small group that meets during the week.

The Christian life is a life that abides in Jesus with His people. These people, that is the church, are God’s gift to believers. Let’s receive that gift and walk by faith in Christ Jesus together.