I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard something like this, “I don’t have to go to church in order to be ‘saved.’” Many people hate going to church and I get it (as I’ve written about).

Often people will cite reservations of ‘organized’ religion in defense of statements like this, as if disorganized religion makes any sense. And why is that people get defensive when saying things like this? That should tell you something about your spiritual state, shouldn’t it? Plus, what do you think people who told me this when I invited them to church were doing during church?

Sleeping in.

It is true. You don’t have to go to church to be spiritually maturing or growing, but most of the time it helps. It’s supposed to. It creates fellowship and accountability, as we say. We need this. Lone Ranger Christianity just doesn’t work to well.

>As I look over last 25 years there’s no way for me to separate my spiritual health from my church attendance and involvement.

There is a direct correlation. And I challenge purveyors of these statements to be truly honest with themselves about their actual spiritual state and maturity. Often, self-awareness is lacking.

In Hebrews it says,“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Sure, there are many different contexts to accomplish this. Be it one-on-one friendships or small groups of fellow believers sharing life together and gleaning from each other’s experiences.

>But there is also something very healthy about regularly meeting in a large group setting: learning together, singing together, and hearing from an experienced and seasoned teacher of God’s word together.

It’s different. It’s good. Going to church matters. It just does.