After almost 25 years in ministry, the lack of overall faithfulness to gathering together at church still bothers me. It’s not about breaking some attendance record, but I grieve when people who need the grace and mercy of God are absent from His house.

Why gather together at church? Does it make a difference? Well, one thing for sure, not attending makes a difference in the life of a believer.

Think about it, does going to a gym once in a while help us stay in shape? Does eating healthy once in a while give us the nutrition we need? The same goes for our spiritual lives and for the spiritual life of our community.

In Acts 2:42-47 it says that when the believers met daily, the Lord added souls into His kingdom. Evangelism and attendance are indelibly linked.

So why come to church?

We need solid teaching from God’s word, fellowship with others believers, communion, that is, sharing in the Lord’s supper on a regular basis with the disciples, and to take time in prayer with others and for others.

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42)

And when this takes place it says that fear fell upon every soul, that is, believer and non-believer, and there were many signs and wonders that accompanied this time (Acts 2:43).

But there is more, church is a place where accountability happens with the Lord and us, and helps us from drifting from the faith into dangerous waters, and allows us to repent and receive the correction and direction we need for life.

Church also gives us a place to begin to serve the Lord by serving others with the gifts and talents God has given. And it provides safe place to hear God’s message of salvation, the Gospel, and respond in praising God.

“And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)

Dennis Lee is the senior pastor of Living Waters Fellowship at 211 West 1st South, behind ACE Hardware. http://www.mesquitelivingwaters.com