Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 20, 1964

Why Attend Church Services?

Wm. E. Wallace

Many of you who read these lines are neglectful or indifferent regarding the value and the duty of church-service attendance. This article is meant for you — I write for your personal good and for the congregation's welfare. If you are interested in your soul's salvation and the congregation's success then hear me out.

Jesus teaches His disciples to "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33) When you deliberately select some optional or non-essential interest over attendance to church-assembly are you "seeking first the kingdom of God?"

Assembly In Early Church

In the times of the apostles those who were baptized into Christ identified themselves with local congregations and associated closely with fellow Christians, assembling frequently and regularly in congregational study and worship. The Jews in Jerusalem who were baptized into Christ assembled in houses to worship and to study. (Acts 2:4246) This they did steadfastly — steadily as opposed to spasmodic and irregular attendance.

The Christians at Troas met on the first day of the week and the wording of Acts 20:7 certainly implies that this was the standard procedure for the congregation in Troas. They were so interested in God's business that Paul could "continue his speech until midnight."

Much is said about the assembly of Christians. Paul speaks of assembly activities of the local congregation when the "whole church be come together to one place." (1 Corinthians 14:23) In 1 Timothy, chapter two, he teaches us how to behave and what do in the public assembly. Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 set forth our obligation to sing together in worship. The writer of Hebrews quotes Psalms 22:22 and speaks of the congregation of church members in a worship assembly. In 1 Corinthians 11 Paul rebukes the Corinthians for their ill-behaviour in the worship assembly.

All of this and much more about assembly is presented in the New Testament thus setting forth the importance of church service attendance. To be a New Testament Christian in spirit and in truth is to catch the New Testament zeal for assembly and association with fellow Christians for the purpose of studying and worshipping.


There are some warnings to you against absenteeism. In Hebrews 10:22-25, after exhorting us to "draw near," "hold fast," and "consider one another," the divinely inspired writer warns us against "forsaking the assembling of ourselves together." Are you forsaking the assembly?

In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul, an apostle of the Lord, says that some of the Corinthians were weak and sickly (verse 30) because the Lord's Supper was not participated in with proper motive and spirit. The same principle would apply to those who miss taking the Lord's Supper. If our spiritual health is partially dependent on rightfully partaking of the Lord's Supper then it certainly depends on our regular participance in this communion with Jesus. (I Corinthians 10:6-17)

Christ Is Present

Christ is with assembled Christians (Matthew 18:20), don't you want to be where Christ is? What does he think of you when you are not where he has invited you to be?

There are some responsibilities and requirements (privileges) which cannot be fulfilled by you, a Christian, outside the assembly of the church. If you meet God at the judgment having deliberately refused to fulfill these duties you will not feel well before His penetrating examination, nor will you fare well in His eternal sentence.

In the experience of the worship or study assemblies you grow and become strong, you become more mature and you become better equipped to meet and conquer the adversities of life. My friend, you need the assembly. Many of your questions and problems will be answered and solved in these assemblies. You will be inspired, enlightened, uplifted and encouraged once you get the feel of the joy of consistent assembly experience.

Power And Assembly

In 1 Corinthians 5:4, Paul speaks of a gathering or assembly of the congregation "with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ" and "my (Paul's) spirit." Paul means by these two phrases that the authority of Christ and the direction or influence of the apostle is associated with the assembly of the church. When one deliberately depreciates the assembly by absenteeism he flaunts the authority of the apostles and disrespects the presence of Christ!

We need to recapture the kind of personal spirit and interest of that assembly of Acts 14:27, 28 in which Paul and Barnabas reviewed their evangelistic experiences. We need to appreciate the value of the prayers of assembled disciples. (Acts 12:12) In the church-assembly there is an ingathering of precious souls and the upgoing of sacred homage. You need to be a participant!

Which Way Will You Vote?

When you stay away from service you not only cast a vote to close the doors of the place of assembly, but you also belittle the New Testament spirit of group worship to God. You show an apparant disregard for the effort of the church to save and to edify, and you appear to believe that you can get along without the assemblies of the church for which Christ shed his blood.

Well, I am not sure about some of you, but as for me and my house, "I was glad when they said unto me, "Let us go into the house of the Lord'." (Psalm 122:1)

— 1009 S. Belmont, Indianapolis, Indiana