When I was growing up my dad would occasionally mention C-E Christians, by which he meant Christmas and Easter Christians. He was referring to people who only go to church twice a year for the major church events commemorating Christ’s birth and resurrection. While these are important days on the church calendar, it is not enough to attend twice a year.
Christians must attend church regularly. God has designed the church to be the place where we receive biblical teaching so that we know how to live in a way that honors God. We can read the Bible for ourselves and we will be challenged to live righteously, yet God commands us to be in church where there is preaching and teaching (Matthew 28:19, 20; 2 Timothy 4:1-5). The book of Acts, where the history of the earliest days of the church is recorded, is filled with teaching and preaching. Likewise, the church is called a building, a body, and a household, so Christians are the bricks, body parts, and members of a household. The Bible also says that we are a sheep in a flock and branches on a vine. These are all metaphors of individuals who come together to form the church, where the whole is greater than the parts.
You will notice that these qualities require that people be physically present with other Christians to fulfill them. Two bricks do not make a building, nor do an arm and a leg make a body. It is no wonder that the Bible says that Christians must not forsake the assembling of themselves together (Hebrews 10:25). As helpful as it is to stream a sermon when we are sick, that should not be our regular practice. The Bible expects us to attend a church where we interact with other believers, to share their lives and grow towards Christlikeness.
The Christmas season has me thinking about worshiping with God’s people to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I hope that you attend church on a weekly basis, not just on Christmas and Easter. If not, this is a great time to establish a new habit of getting integrated into a local body. Often, when I ask people what church they are attending, they look a little wistful and say they are still looking for one. It’s time to stop merely looking and make a commitment. There is no church more sound than our sponsoring church, Grace Bible Church, but there are many other options as well. Christians must be a part of a church.