Q. I have a friend who has not gone to church for years. She says she is a Christian but can’t seem to find a church that suits her and does not believe Christians have to go to church anyway. I think if you really are a Christian you will thirst for God’s word and want to go. What do you think?
A. Ideally, you are correct. But you’d be surprised at the number of people who write to me complaining they can’t find a church that teaches only from the Bible. They’ve stopped going because of it.
We don’t have to attend a church to satisfy our thirst for God’s word. We can do that in other ways. In Hebrews 10:25 we’re admonished to not give up meeting together, but we can do this through fellowship groups, in home studies, or para-Church ministries. And we can pray and worship alone or with others anytime the mood strikes us.
Paul said, “One person considers one day more sacred than others, while another considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). That means however we maintain our fellowship with other believers, it doesn’t have to take place on a particular day of the week.
If you have a church home where your spiritual needs are being met, consider it a blessing. But a person who can’t find such a church, or is getting his or her needs met in another way, should not be required to go to church just for the sake of going. The Lord is not impressed by religious work. What He wants is a personal relationship.