Tuesday, 07 July 2015 14:50

Going to Church and Fellowship: How Important Is It?

Written by  Tony Butler, Fountain of Grace Church
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How important is it to go to church? That depends on how you define “going to church”. If by going to church you mean attending some ecclesiastical entity that is mostly caught up in its own agenda, its own promotion, and man pleasing entertainment; if by going to church you mean having a place to promote personal reputation, power, position/titles for personal glory; if by going to church you mean going someplace trying to be a good Christian through self-righteous living; if by going to church you mean trying to worship and serve God without the power of Holy Spirit; if by attending church you mean gathering together in a place where the whole council of God’s Word isn’t fully taught, then I say attending church isn’t important at all. Any attendance of church where God isn’t worshipped in spirit and truth; where the Lordship of Christ isn’t recognized; where His glory isn’t taken seriously; where His love isn’t prioritized, and where His grace and truth is compromised is an act of vanity resulting in ”Churchianity” (church done in human power). May those kinds of churches repent or be seen for the empty forms they are.

It is important to know that the Bible knows nothing of going to church, but declares the necessity of “being” the church. To understand the importance of church people need to know what the church is. To millions, the church is thought to be a building where one goes to practice religion.  True believers don’t “Go” to church, they “Are” the church!

 

The Bible teaches that the church isn’t a place; rather it is a group of people (I Corinthians 1:2). The true church has been called out of darkness and has come into the light of salvation, having received the forgiveness of sins through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:13). Millions of Americans have gone to church and have done church, but they may not be “The Church”. This may be why so many see attending church as optional or not important. There is an old saying, “Just because a cat has her kittens in the oven, that doesn’t make biscuits out of them.” The true church is a world-wide body of all true believers in Christ who have experienced God’s salvation.

 

Gathering together as the church is a corporate command (Heb. 10:25) and opportunity. We come together as the church to worship God, to teach/learn the Word of God, exercise our spiritual gifts for edification of the congregation, to serve, to equip for ministry, and to share our resources for the glory of God. We come together as a holy counter-culture that is spiritually seated in heavenly places whose citizenship is in heaven (Eph. 2:6; Phil. 3:20). Our priorities are heavenly (Col. 3:1) and our pursuits are motivated by truth, love and divine guidance. The true church gathers together as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and is missionally engaged to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ as we proclaim the gospel to the whole world. If that isn’t important to you then you might be just a kitten in the oven that thinks it is a biscuit.

 

Biblical fellowship is also important in the life of the believer. Biblical fellowship isn’t coming together to have a pot luck meal, or having fun together (I am not opposed to any of those things). True Christian fellowship has more to do with our sharing/partaking together in the things of Christ. It is what we go through together as we walk out God’s call on our lives.  We are a “Band of Brothers” united together for a divine purpose. Soldiers who have fought together better understand the idea of fellowship. Together they experienced blood, bullets, hardship, grief and sacrifice. Biblical fellowship is what true believers experience when they worship together, serve together, and suffer together for the glory of God. Such fellowship brings us closer to Christ and one another.

 

Bottom line, true believers don’t go to church, they are the church. True fellowship isn’t about  food, or entertainment, it’s all about our life in Christ. Amen or Meow?

 

 

Tony Butler has been pastor of the Fountain of Grace Church in Prattville for 30 years – Denomination – Christian and Missionary Alliance.  He is married to Sabrina Butler (37 years), has three children, two sons-in–law, five grandchildren and one on the way.

 

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 13 July 2015 14:52
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