• Nick Henderson

Can you be Christian without going to Church?

“If you don’t go to church, why would you want to go to Heaven.” - Unknown

I used to think church was silly.

I was 15 years old at the time and I was quite the critic. Known in some parts as a “know it all.”

I loved Jesus, read my bible, watched sermons and quite honestly felt I was significantly further along than my peers - spiritually speaking. It wasn’t true, but it was my honest perspective at the time.

I did all of the Christian things, except go to church. I saw church as nothing more than a glorified event center that occassionaly had okay public speaking, decent music and free pizza.

This was my mindset until I was invited by a friend to attend their Youth Group worship service. I was initially opposed, but I knew some people going - so I went.

Upon attending, I found most of the things I expected: music, speaking and pizza (which I wasn’t mad about, btw). But, I also found something that I wasn’t expecting: community.

People embraced me and were so excited to see me. They welcomed me in with open arms and ended up becoming people who I would build strong bonds with - some even to this day.

So, in answering the question of “Can you be Christian without going to church?” You can absolutely be Christian, meaning being saved by the blood and work of Christ on the cross, without ever attending a church.

The theif on the cross probably wasn’t “plugged into” into his local church congregation. Yet, Jesus promised him salvation and eternity in paradise. (Luke 23:39-43)

On the other hand, the idea that you can ever live out your complete and full purpose for the glory of God on the Earth without attending church is pretty much impossible.

Why? Because as my old campus pastor at college would say: “The local church is God’s plan A for the growth and development of His people and there is no plan B.”

God called us to make and grow as disciples through the planting and attending of local churches. Churches that provide a place to worship, serve and sacrifice together as a body of Christ. (Hebrews 10:25)

Christianity is not something you can live out fully on an island. Sure, you can be saved but actually making a dent in the world in honor of the Lord is not plausible without the community the local church offers.

We all need Christian camaraderie. It is the oxygen to our “live for the Lord everyday“ lungs.

We need to be encouraged, held accountable and carried by other Christians in this life. It’s unavoidable.

With all of that said, be convinced in your heart and soul that going to church doesn’t make you a Christian as much as sitting in a garage doesn’t make you a car. But, don’t let that fact negate the necessity of being involved in a local church.

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