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9 Reasons To Attend Church and Not Just Watch Online

As a pastor, I’ve heard many excuses for why people don’t go to Church.

“You don’t need to attend church to be a good Christian.”

“My church doesn’t meet my needs.”

“It’s not that important, and besides, I got other things to do.”

“Sunday is the only day we have off; I want to sleep in.”

“I don’t like what the Pastor preaches; if he talked more about this than I would go.”

The New Excuse

Since March (especially here in Canada and Alberta), we went into shutdown. Most churches went online, and many have become comfortable. When most churches went online, it wasn’t a replacement, but only to act as a temporary answer for what we were facing. It was never intended to replace in-person services. Now churches have opened or are opening, so you might think there would be a rush to return, but many are still staying home.

Some have legitimate reasons because they have health issues, work in an area that requires caution, are part of the vulnerable community, or are elderly and want to exercise caution. These are understandable.

But many have let other things creep in, such as fear, laziness, and even habits of self-indulgence and comfort. Many like to watch Church from the comfort of their PJs, drinking a cup of coffee, relaxing, and not having to engage in the service fully.

Along with it, because so many churches went online, many are now asking the question or making the statement: why do I have to attend when I can watch online? What’s the difference? Why does it matter or not if I attend? I am there watching.

So I want to look at these questions and ideas. I will say right up front that if someone thinks those things or makes those statements, they don’t know what the Bible says or what God thinks about the matter.

So let’s look at scripture.

1st – Local Church Is God’s Plan.

In the Bible, we see the first local Church in Jerusalem and the expansion from that to new churches throughout the Roman Empire. As we move from the gospels into Acts, we see that almost all of the New Testament is about the local Church or focused on the local Church. We can see in the NT different local churches meeting together, worshipping together, learning together. It is what believers do. It is evident in scripture that God wanted His people meeting regularly and faithfully. And in case we forget, all of these congregations had problems and problem people. So we can never use that as an excuse to give up Church.

2nd - The Bible Gives Priority To Local Congregations.

If you read the New Testament from Acts to Revelation, you will see that a gathered church was not just one important factor for the Christian; it was one of the highest priorities. After the ascension of Jesus, the local Church was truly “the body of Christ.”

Acts 2:42 - They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers.

Acts 2:46 - And continuing daily with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

Ephesians 5:19 - speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 14:26 - How is it then, brothers? When you come together, every one of you has a psalm, a teaching, a tongue, a revelation, and an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

3rd – The Bible Talks About The Body of Christ.

Yes, there is the global body, but we also understand that in the context of a local body or Church. Have you ever seen a healthy, functioning body that is scattered all over the place?

Romans 12:4-5 - For just as we have many parts in one body, and not all parts have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and all are parts of one another..

As such, the body is meant to be together. Clearly, there is a place for the various functions of life (work, family, recreation) where we can’t be together, but there is a time when we come together and function as a body.

There is life; there is fulfillment; there is encouragement that comes as we meet together. There is a sense of community and belonging.

Now let me talk from more of an individual sense.


The Church is not about Me, but it’s about We, and most importantly, about Christ. Too many people have a selfish attitude or opinion of the Church and only look at it from themselves.

When a person says things like:

I have better things to do.

I need to have a day off.

I don’t like the music.

I don’t like what the pastor preaches.

I don’t appreciate how this person treats me.

I am more comfortable watching online at home.

That person is operating from a selfish heart.

While Church will bless us (individually), and there is that intention in the Kingdom of God, it is not all about us, but it is about the whole body, and at the very top of the list, it is about Christ.

4th - I Attend Church Because God Directs Us To.

Hebrews 10:25 Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but let us exhort one another, especially as you see the Day approaching.

AMP - not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.

I don’t think the author of Hebrews 10:25 could make the statement anymore more straightforward. God’s desire and His command is for believers to assemble regularly. It’s also evident in this verse that some have made it a habit not to gather together. If you are in that category, this verse is saying, don’t be like them.

There is a reason to get together. Regularly attending Church is good for you. Specifically, God wants us to exhort and encourage one another, especially as the days grow darker and the time of Christ’s return approaches.

I Attend Church because God directs me. Not to do so is to violate what God and His word say directly.

5th - I Attend Church For Accountability Purposes.

Proverbs 27:17 – Iron Sharpens Iron. Accountability takes place in the local church setting. You cannot be a lone ranger or an island unto yourself in the Kingdom of God. God did not design it that way. People who don’t want to be held accountable do so, usually because they have things to hide or because they want to do their own thing. This can be very dangerous.

6th - I Attend Church To Be Involved In Congregational Worship Of Jesus.

Psalm 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms!

Vs 6-7 O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.

Yes, you indeed are to worship Jesus in your own closet. Many do and unfortunately, many don’t. However, there is a place for corporate worship and praise. God has designed us to come together, to join together and sing, to give thanksgiving, to offer a joyful noise, to worship together as His people.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing (correcting, warning) one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

7th - I Attend And Am Part Of A Church So That I Can Serve Christ By Giving And Serving Others.

From preaching to encouraging, hospitality to administration, spiritual gifts, God has equipped us, His children, with gifts to serve Christ and His body (See 1 Corinthians 12). When a Church body is healthy, its members understand they are part of the Church not only to receive but also to be a blessing and to serve others. We can’t do that when we are at home.

8th - I Attend, And I Am Part Of A Church So That I Can Help Bear The Burdens Of Others.

Galatians 6:2 teaches us to bear each other’s burdens. The strong are to bear the burdens of the weak. Life is hard at times. I am sure many of us have experienced times where it seems in a moment everything changes. Things seem to be good but then comes a phone call, medical emergency, job loss, a problem in a relationship, or something else and where do we turn.

Galatians 6:2 teaches us to bear each other’s burdens. The strong are to bear the burdens of the weak. Life is hard at times. I am sure many of us have experienced times where it seems in a moment everything changes. Things seem to be good but then comes a phone call, medical emergency, job loss, a problem in a relationship, or something else and where do we turn.

The Church is there to encourage, build-up, help, comfort, and pray for those who are hurting and going through difficult times. Other people need us, and there will be times when we need other people. The Church is designed by God to be that mechanism of support and comfort.

9th – I Attend Church To Grow And Be Built Up In The Word Of God, To Be Equipped.

Ephesians 4:11-12 He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of service, and for the building up of the body of Christ,

Colossians 1:28 whom we preach, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present them perfect in Christ Jesus.

I know some would say I can be built up and learn at home while watching, and that is partly true, but God has given us these individuals (pastors, teachers, etc) for a reason, and while you can learn by watching online, you will miss out.

Romans 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be strengthened.

Paul could’ve been satisfied with writing a letter, but he recognized that being there in person imparted spiritual value that could only be realized by him being physically present. There are spiritual significance and importance to being physically present in the Church among church members and leaders.

There may be other reasons, but this list of 9 should give us reason enough to attend and not just watch online.

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