Greg's Blog

Why Going to Church Is Important, Part 3

by Greg Laurie on Jul 21, 2023

As I mentioned in my last post, the church exists for three main reasons: to exalt God (upward), to edify the saints (inward), and to evangelize the world (outward). Today, let’s look at the second function—the edification of other believers.

The apostle Paul said that his goal was to both warn believers and teach them “with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ” (Colossians 1:28 NLT). This is why we give such a prominent place to biblical teaching at Harvest.

As a pastor and teacher, I do not want to waste your time. My opinion is not any more valuable than any other’s. I am not here to be a cheerleader or a “life coach” or a motivational speaker. I am not here to be your psychologist or your political pundit. I am here for one reason: to teach you the Word of God.

All that matters is what the Bible says. “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12 NLT). Martin Luther said, “The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.”

How to Grow Spiritually

We Need to Take in Biblical Teaching

I was amazed when I first heard the Bible taught. It made sense; it applied to my life! And it’s not only strong preaching of the Word that counts but also strong listening. 

The early church, the church in revival that changed the world, understood this. In Acts 2:42 we read, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (NKJV). 

To “continue steadfastly” speaks of a real passion. They were living in a first-love relationship with Jesus and had burning hearts for Him. This was not a casual attitude, as one might have when joining a social club. There was a spiritual excitement in what they did. They applied themselves to what was being taught from the Word. I believe there is a need for anointed preaching today, but I also believe there is a need for anointed listening! Having an openness to receive God’s Word. Like newborn babies you should crave and earnestly desire spiritual milk that by it you may grow (1 Peter 2:2).

Why You Need a Church

Let me say something that may seem controversial: We should be a part of one church. There is nothing wrong with visiting other churches here and there, or attending a midweek study at another church, especially if your church does not offer one. However, to go to multiple churches and not have one consistent place to fellowship is not good.

We are not all called to go to the same church, but we are all called to be a part of a church. Why? Because you need a consistent theology. 

Doctrine, or what we believe, affects everything we do. What you believe matters. And what you’re being taught impacts your beliefs; so what you’re being taught matters. 

That is why I have never understood how people will rate facilities, convenience, proximity, etc. as the criteria for choosing where they go to church. The top priority in looking for a church is ensuring God’s Word is taught there.

But why should you have a home church? Because you need a place to be accountable, a place to build relationships (you can’t really do that by church-hopping). You need a pastor who can help and influence you. If there is something wrong, your pastor can tell you. If you are doing great, your pastor can commend and encourage you. You need a place to give faithfully and consistently of your finances. And you need a place to serve God with the gifts He has given you!

Sometimes people “church-hop” because there is sin in their life. They break up with their spouse and initiate an unscriptural divorce, and then go to another church where no one knows them, with their new girlfriend or boyfriend… I have seen this, and worse.

A lot of people will treat the church like a movie theater—getting there late, leaving while the credits are rolling, checking texts and emails during the film, etc. Sometimes we bring that same consumer mentality to church. If we foster consumers instead of communers, we’ll end up with customers instead of disciples. It might fill up an auditorium, but it will never turn the world upside down for Christ.

Learn more about Pastor Greg Laurie

Did you pray with Pastor Greg?

To help you get started, we would love to send you a free Bible and other resources to help you grow in your faith.

Get Resources
Ben Born Again’s New Believer’s Growth Book

Ben Born Again’s New Believer’s Growth Book

Ben Born Again’s New Believer’s Growth Book is a time-proven resource that helps kids learn how to mature in Christ! A copy will be sent to you for a gift of any amount to Harvest Ministries this month.

Make Your Gift