The last time I went to a church, it was in May and I was back on Maui with a friend. Since I left Hawaii, became a Florida resident and have been traveling for the last few months, I haven’t been to a church. I still do bible studies on my own and read devotionals every day, but I got to thinking the other day: Do you have to physically go to church to be a strong, devoted Christian? What constitutes a “strong Christian”? Is it the activity of going to church? Or is the stronghold of faith within your heart and the steady studying of the Word?
What is a ‘Christian’ anyway?
When I looked it up, the definition of “Christian” is:
A person who has received Christian baptism, or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.
Nowhere in that definition does it say “A person who attends church.” To be a Christian means to essentially just be a follower of Christ, in whatever capacity that may be. If you are able to attend church, great. If not, that’s great too.
And if you give your heart to God, that’s all He wants. Isn’t that cool?
What do we have to do to be ‘good’ Christians?
There are tons and tons of verses that will all say something along these lines: All God wants is your heart, and being a true follower of Christ is all about what happens on the inside.
What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means that certain customs or traditions, appearances that we keep, or being an active member of a particular church are not the things that define what being a Christian is.
Keep in mind, God warns against keeping up with a certain “image,” and teaches that what’s most important is that our hearts are pure and true.
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
So, if that’s all it takes, is it even necessary to go to church? As long as I have God’s Word that shows me the life that Jesus lived, I can follow Him on my own, right?
Following God on your own
Of course, you can be a strong Christian on your own. But remember that we were not created to be alone! When you go to church and feel the music, praise and worship Jesus with everyone around you, doesn’t your heart just explode? Isn’t that the greatest, most inexplainable feeling in the world? Going to church just feels good.
Here are some verses that prove we, as followers, need our brothers and sisters in faith:
We are not created to be alone. We were created to have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7)
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:20)
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
While there are no written rules in the Bible about attending church, a true follower will find that in their heart they do need to go to church. Sure, you can absorb all there is to absorb on your own with solo Bible studies and prayer and podcasts. In attending church, you can receive encouragement and fellowship from those who are also working toward strengthening their faith and building the body of Christ.
Do you attend a home church? If not, why? For me, I’m not currently attending a church because I’m traveling! I do solo bible studies, but I can’t wait to discover my new home church once I settle down in a place! 😊🙏🏼