What Does the Bible Say About Not Going to Church?
Most people are wary to ask the question; “What does the Bible say about not going to church?”. We’ve grown up being told it’s a sin to miss church, and any kind of spiritual nonconformity can carry consequences. In reality, the Bible is complex and multilayered, and encourages participation in churches and faith community but also speaks to individual experiences of faith.
We learn in Hebrews 10:25 to “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.” This encourages us to meet with other people of faith and study the Bible together so that each can receive strength, growth, and knowledge.
By doing this, we learn much faster and graver than we would by just attending a church service. Additionally, attending church does help us feel connected to the community of believers and keep a certain knowledge and intimacy with the scriptures. It helps us to know every move of the Holy Spirit and remember various scriptures that were taught by the pastor or minister.
However, it is important to note that church services are designed by humans, and sometimes church service can feel restrictive and belittling. 2 Timothy 3:16 speaks to this, “All scripture is God-breathed and beneficial for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” So we should be able to read and be instructed by the word of God ourselves, without needing a pastor or minister to interpret it for us.
We should strive for a personal relationship with God, free of judging and oppressive structures. We can do this by reading scripture, and praying, and living our lives the way Christ does. The whole point of attending church is to study and learn more about God and about our faith. The aim is to be living examples of Christ and to reach out to others—not to judge and control them.
This brings us to the question, if not church, then how can we learn and grow our faith? The answer is that there are many different ways, and all are important and valid. We can read the Bible, journal and meditate on what we learn, exercise our spiritual practices, and fellowship with other believers. We can pray, yes, but more importantly, we can listen for how God is speaking to us and lead us to our purpose.
We can also attend virtual church services or watch online sermons. This provides a more structured approach on studying God’s word and offers the ability to continue to grow in faith despite not culturally attending a church. There are no concrete rules to engage with the church, which is why we should be open to exploring our faith and growing in knowledge and understanding.
Read and Pray
Developing a personal relationship with Jesus is key to understanding what not going to church means. We can read the Bible during our devotionals and pray earnestly. This allows us to get to understand the will of God and to use that knowledge to grow our relationship with Him. As we read and pray, we can also pick out scriptures that are applicable to our lives and help us grow deeper in faith.
We can stand firm in faith and learn to trust God no matter what we are going through. Reading and praying helps build a strong connection to Jesus and helps us be more aware of how God is speaking to us. It also helps us to be plugged into the Word so that when trials and temptations come our way, we have the weapons to parry it.
Aside from reading and praying, we can also use faith affirmations and declarations to speak life and strength to our faith. These affirmations help build up our faith and remind us of who God is, His plans and promises for us. When we remember God’s promises, it helps us stay focus and hold on to hope even when it’s hard.
We can also engage in faith-based activities like bible studies, book clubs, prayer meetings, etc. These activities help us stay plugged into scripture and into the word of God. Additionally, these activities offer us an avenue to fellowship and grow in our faith journey with other people of faith.
Attending church also helps us to grow and strengthen both our individual faith and corporate faith of the body of Christ. We can use this to evangelize and bring the gospel and the love of Jesus to people who may never have known about these things. We can also share our knowledge of God’s word with others, and edify our faith and the faith of others.
Sharing our faith and engaging with others helps us to develop relationships with those on different spiritual journeys. It shows the world the good news and makes Christ known in our lives. Sharing our faith also helps us to grow stronger in knowledge and in understanding of scripture, allowing us to share more than just head knowledge.
We can live our faith as an example in our everyday lives, living each day in the knowledge that God is in control. We can also bring our faith into our family, workplace, and other places to spread the good news of Jesus. We can share stories of how God has moved and touched our lives, and our faith becomes contagious to those around us.
We can also serve in our local churches, taking time out of our busy lives to do so. Volunteering in the church can help us to learn more about God and understand Him on a deeper level. We can be involved with music, tech, ushering, and hospitality teams, which will help hone our spiritual gifts and use them to help others.
Living Out our Faith
Living out our faith can look very different, depending on the person’s spiritual walk. We can seek to learn more about God and His power through scripture, as these can help us stay rooted in the Lord. We can also attend seminars, pray for others, or even host bible studies and fellowship meetings to share our knowledge of the scriptures and help grow each other’s faith.
We can use our spiritual gifts, whatever they may be, to reach people and impact their lives with the gospel and the love of Christ. We can share our testimonies and offer encouragement to others, and become living examples of Jesus in the world.
We can seek God’s kingdom first in everything that we do, living in obedience and faith to His will. We can pray and meditate, using these tools as life-saving weapons and shields against the enemy, who seeks to keep us from living in the will of God.
Living out our faith also means being intentional, and actively pursuing God and His will. We can stay rooted in the Word, and keep up with what is going on in the church. We can stay present and focused on God, listening for the still small voice of the Lord.
Regardless of whether we choose to attend church or not, the point is to live our faith each day and in everything we do. We are called to spread the gospel and the love of Jesus to the world, and our lives should be a reflection of His love and grace.
A husband of one wife, father of two beautiful girls, laborer of Lord, Jesus Christ, and a servant to God’s His saints. I hope to encourage you by God’s grace. Thank you for stopping by.