Should Christians Attend Church?


Point #1: The church isn't a place, it’s a people.

Since we’re asking the question, “Should Christians attend church?” let’s look at a verse about the founding of the church that has long been subject to differing degrees of explication. Jesus says in Matthew 16:18,

“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

Despite the various opinions about Peter’s role in the church formation, there is one key principle we can pull from this verse I believe most Christians will agree on. That is simply this: Jesus did not come to found a non-profit; He came start a family. When He talks about the gates of Hades attempting to overpower the church, He’s not talking about a literal military assault launched in the parking lots of all the First Baptists. He’s talking about the spiritual battle Satan wages against the body of Christ—against the people of God.

No matter how many times you’ve heard someone say, “The church isn’t a building,” the point still stands. When we focus too much on the organizational structure of the church and belittle the importance of believers uniting in Christ across various denominations, we actually hinder the work God wants to do through the church. Paul states the purpose of those in the church in Ephesians 4. He lets us know that the church exists to equip believers for service and to build up the body of Christ in unity.

God brings people into His family to build up the family, not to create more sects. When we succumb to the lie that our group or view is the only stamp of a true Christian, we open ourselves up to one of the most devastating attacks of the enemy: divisiveness. The truth is there is only one way, and that is Jesus Christ. Beyond that, there will be disagreements, but to allow those disagreements to separate us is to say that they are more important than the unifying truth of the gospel.

Is it possible to treat each other the way the early church did in Acts chapter 2? I believe so, and I believe the key is simple: we must hold firmly to the Word of life. We must allow the sacrifice of Jesus to be the most important issue.