Nine Good Reasons to Attend Church Weekly

By Thom S. Rainer 

I think I’ve heard most of the excuses.

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

“We give our family priority when we miss church to do sports on Sunday.” 

“My church really doesn’t meet my needs.”

 “I’m not getting fed at my church.”

 “Sunday is really the only day we have off.”

 “My church has a bunch of hypocrites.”

 I will deal with these and other lame excuses later. For now, I want to focus on the positive. Why is it important for us to attend church services regularly, usually weekly? Allow me to share nine reasons.

  1.     The local church was God’s plan in the New Testament. From the founding of the first local church in Jerusalem to the growth of new congregations throughout the Roman Empire, the New Testament is clear. God wanted His people gathering regularly and faithfully. And lest we forget, all of these congregations had problems. All of these churches had problem people. Hypocrisy was real and pervasive, but it was not a valid excuse to give up the local church.
  1.     The Bible speaks clearly about the priority of 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.” 
  1.     We are commanded and designed to enjoy worshipping the one true God as a gathered community. What if church members really did one thing in worship services? What if they asked God to let them see Him and know Him fully as the church gathered together? What if that was the priority over evaluating the style of music? What if that was more important than the preacher preaching five minutes more than you deemed appropriate?
  1.     A unified church can stand strong in a culture turning away from God. We can’t be a unified church with sporadic attendance. We can’t stand together if we aren’t persistently gathered together. Do you remember how the early church in Jerusalem reached a culture opposed to God? The outside world saw the unity and joy of the church and wanted to know more about this Jesus they worshipped. Remember, they were “praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those were being saved” (Acts 2:47). A faithfully attended church is a unified church. A unified church is an evangelistic church. 
  1.     The world looks at our priorities and evaluates what we deem as important. Expanding on the previous point, we can’t expect the community we serve to get excited about our church if the members of the community see it to be a low priority among the members. The twice-a-month attendees make the church an afterthought. The once-a-month attendee hardly thinks about the church at all.
  1.     Accountability takes place in the local church. When we gather together worshipping with others, we are holding each other up and accountable. When we belong to a small group in the church, our absence is conspicuous. We need people holding us accountable in love. We need others looking after us. Accountability is indeed a good thing. 
  1.     Families that attend church faithfully and regularly are happier and healthier families. The research from the secular world is overwhelming. Study after study shows that families who are in church almost every week are among those with the best-adjusted children. Marriages are healthier. Small children grow to become mature and joyous adults. Though these studies are affirming, we can see throughout the New Testament how God has a clear and compelling plan for His children and their families to gather together regularly and faithfully.
  1.     Discipleship takes place in the local church. There seems to be this big mystery about discipleship. How do we do discipleship? Exactly what is discipleship? How does that work in the local church? Remember, discipleship is simply becoming more like Christ. We become more like Christ as we gather and worship together. We become more like Christ when we belong to a small group and do community together. We become more like Christ as we listen to the preached Word every week. We become more like Christ as we do ministry and evangelism through our local church. For sure, discipleship can take place outside the local church. But the New Testament clearly demonstrates the local congregation is God’s “Plan A” for growing as a disciple.
  1.     God gives us great joy when we serve others through the local church. For sure, there are some grumpy and miserable church members. They seem to have a common trait. There are things in the church that aren’t going their way. They are not getting their worship style. They are not getting themselves fed. They don’t like the way the pastor does things because it’s not their way. They focus on three people: me, myself, and I. But we can experience incredible joy as we serve others, as we put others before ourselves, as we don’t focus on our own preferences and desires. We experience incredible joy as we serve other church members and those who reside in our community. 

All of these nine reasons, of course, presume we are faithful attenders. We are neither obedient nor are we able to experience the full joy of our church if we attend once or twice a month or even less. 

Faithful weekly church attendance is important. It brings us joy. It helps us to grow spiritually. It is one of the primary characteristics of a healthy family.

Above all, it is an act of obedience to God.

And that’s what really matters.

Posted on December 16, 2019

With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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  • joe kneiser says on

    Living in the south I have actually lost all faith in god as well as any organized religion. I think the final nail in my belife came when a self proclaimed “good christian” looked me in the eye and with all seriousness told me that if jesus were alive today he would be a gun carrying conservative repulican. If religion has gone thatfar off the edge and god does nothing about it the god must be an made and religion a farce.

    I apoligise for raining on your parade but after reading your posts and listening to a few of your podcasts I felt the need to share my story with you.

    • Jerry in Texas says on

      I am sorry that you encountered such a person. I stepped away from church attendance for over 20 years because of the actions of my father who was my pastor as a child and teenager. I found that he was living a double life—-Christian pastor on Sundays and worldly the rest of the week. It took a man I deeply respected (who happened to be a pastor of a large church) to explain that my dad’s actions were actions he would answer for and that those actions did not reflect on me or my relationship with Jesus Christ. I have been back in church and active since that conversation. Don’t let one person keep you from the fellowship and warmth of worship with others.

    • Craig Giddens says on

      Unfortunately too many people get their views of God through their church, denomination, or traditions instead of through the Bible. If you want to know what God would be like if He took on a body of human flesh then read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) because that is who Jesus was; God in the flesh. You may find the true Jesus of the Bible different from many man made perceptions. If you want to know how to be reconciled to God through Jesus then spend some time reading Paul’s epistles.

  • Not even one scripture is cited for the reasons to attend a congregation. This may be one reason that many don’t want to attend. You could have started with Heb 10: 24-25
    Your sheep are starving for a good and regular spiritual meal.
    Matt 5:3

  • Cotton Mathid says on

    Landmark Pharisees and their army of fighters killed our church.

    If the church has unity, there is power.

    But, the power hungry maniacs who want preeminence and control need to get out and start their own churches and call them First Maniac church (leave off Baptist).

  • I used to enjoy going to church 4 times a month. But what happens when the interim pastor is so sarcastic and condescending to the congregation? This interim pastor is scheduled to remain for 2 years while the church selects its next pastor. Do I keep attending 4 times a month throughout the 2 year interim period and just keep going home depressed on Sundays? Do I switch churches and get derided as a “church hopper?” Or do I just show up 1 time a month and count the Sundays until the next pastor is called? These are sincere questions. Not everyone who shows up to church only one time a month is lazy.

    • Duane Dunham says on

      As a godly person, you need to be honest with this pastor in confronting him. Arrange a meeting and with prayer to prepare you and him, be fair but thorough and honest. And be ready to forgive past errors!

    • Please pray about this if you really are concerned !

  • Jean Coleman says on

    May I quote the nine points you make in our bulletin, giving full credit to author and source, of course.

  • Marilyn York says on

    I love going to church. Even as a child I would go by myself because my family didn’t. Skipping home afterwards having experienced God.s Presence. I am now 70. I have not had a perfect life but I have remained in church. Yes. Love. Correction and forgiveness are there. Serving in various capacities over the years has brought great joy. But the most important reason is to consistently encounter The Lord Jesus in the institution He designed. The Body of Christ. His Bride. The Church.

  • Thank you for the very important reminder. We are hitting the target five out nine. Suburbia has such a different way of looking at points 1 and 3.

  • Prentiss Yeates says on

    Beyond the relationship one builds by attending church, and that may just be a by product. Worship, repentance and adoration of a Savior who loves and forgives your sins is plenty reasons to be on church on Sunday. A person missing six Sundays will most likely stop going to church all together. One celebrates the rhythm of church life by attending and being part of the body.

  • Last Friday I heard the podcast of ONE KEY REASON MANY CHURCHES ARE FIGHTING ATTENDANCE DECLINES (UPDATE). This was on my mind and I even encouraged our church yesterday in the service with some thoughts. Then this morning I read this article. God is certainly directing churches and pastors to address these issues in 2020. I know we will @ Myrtle Lake.


  • Michael Deutsch says on

    I really believe what you stated in #3 is most vital of your list. “What if we really sought God’s presence and power during worship, while opening our heart, spirit, mind and body to the leading of His Spirit?”

    As a Jew turned Christian, turned pastor, most Christians miss out on the rhythm of preparing for the Sabbath. We do not practice the act of getting prepared for worship, getting our hearts and spirits in the right place. We don’t have our food ready. We rush and we end up missing out on experiencing God in worship. I could go on, but will stop! Good points!

  • There is great joy gathering with other Christians, singing and praying together, listening to God’s word expounded, and meditating heavenwards! Joy unspeakable and full of Glory!

  • All I can say in response is — BRAVO!!!!!

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