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Is church attendance really necessary? Does it matter where I go to church? Does it matter why I go?

Ask people these questions and the diversity of answers you will hear, even from committed Christians, is astounding. There seems to be a widespread lack of understanding concerning the benefit, purpose, and importance of the local church. As a result, church attendance has become a dead, religious ritual for many. Worse, to some, church attendance has become a casual and, at times, unnecessary distraction.

Even for those who attend church regularly, their reasons for doing so vary and are often not rooted in the Word. For some, it's the socially acceptable thing to do, others think it's a good thing for their children, and for many, it's simply a religious ritual handed down from generation to generation.

Worse yet, there are those who faithfully go to church every Sunday, but it's a different church every week! They're called "floaters." Week after week, they float from church to church. The Bible describes these as "not being able to endure sound doctrine" because they have "itching ears!" (2 Timothy 4:3)

An in-depth study of the Word will reveal that God's directive for church attendance is actually quite specific in purpose. The Word reveals that "assembling" is a supernatural design orchestrated by God to interconnect believers with one another for the purpose of impact and increase.

In fact, there is scriptural evidence that properly plugging into the company of believers God has connected you with will position you to access the power of God in a way nothing else can, causing increase and growth to come to your life.

And that, dear friends, is what I want to talk to you about.

Connecting to Your Company
In Hebrews 10:25, we are told to not forsake the "assembling of ourselves together." This isn't dinner over at a Christian friend's house or any haphazard gathering. The kind of assembly that is being talked about I liken to a jigsaw puzzle where certain pieces are designed to fit together in a particular group.

In effect, this verse might as well have said, "don't forsake going to your local church," because that's what it means.

But according to the Word of God, attendance to just any church will not do. The Bible gives us clear indication that there is a specific church that God wants to place you in. And when you're in that church, the power of God will flow to and through you.

We see this truth demonstrated in the fourth chapter of Acts. It says that after Peter and John were apprehended by the temple priests for preaching Jesus, they were brought before the high priest. The high priest interrogated them, threatened them, and then let them go.

Then it says, Peter and John "after being let go, went to their own company." (Acts 4:23) Notice it says they went to their "own company." That means there were other companies of believers available, but they had a particular company they identified as theirs.

Now I want you to see what happened next. After Peter and John shared all that was said and done to them by the chief priest, all the members in that company lifted up their voices together "in one accord" and prayed. The result? The power of God came in such strength that it shook the building!

What was the result of this release of power? It says the believers in that company were emboldened to go out and share the Gospel fearlessly and many got saved. They had a powerful impact on their community.

Furthermore, we see that that supernatural power had an effect on their individual and personal lives as well. It says that not one of them lacked in material need. The power of God drove out insufficiency!

God Is Pleased to Place You
In addition, this same truth is confirmed in a revelation that God gave the apostle Paul where he compares the body of Christ with the natural human body (1 Corinthians 12:12-18). Paul uses this revelation to teach a number of spiritual truths. It is a revelation that is practical yet profound in its application as to how the church is to operate and function in the earth.

First Corinthians 12:14 says "For the body is not one member, but many." Every time I read this, a picture of a jigsaw puzzle comes to my mind. The pieces of a jigsaw puzzle can be hundreds.

Yet when put in their right places, all the pieces fit together so perfectly that they form a whole picture that appears seamless and is a blessing to others. That is how you and I are to fit into the church body that God has called us to be a part of.

But more specifically, I want to draw your attention to 1 Corinthians 12:18. Notice it says that God "sets" the members in the body as it "pleases Him."

Without a doubt, there is a specific church that it pleases God to set you in. And it might not necessarily be the church that your parents and grandparents attended for the last 50 years. It might not be the church that's closest to where you live. And it might not be the church that has the biggest pipe organ that you like so much. It is a place—a specific place—where it pleases God to place you.

Finding Your Place
How do you know when you're in this "place"? First, follow your heart and pay attention to the "inward witness" of the Holy Spirit. When you are in the right church, it will feel as though you're at home. You will receive a balanced spiritual diet and the preaching will minister to you. There will be times when it feels as though the pastor is speaking right to you.

In fact, I've had husbands come up to me after the service and want to know, "Has my wife been talking to you about me?" When you are in the place it has pleased God to place you, the preaching and teaching of the Word will be "right on target" and what you need (not just what you want) to hear!

Also, do you agree and can you hook up with the vision of the church and what is being taught? For instance, if you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, it would be unwise for you to attend a church that preaches against the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

If you believe in divine healing, would you want to attend a church that believes healing is no longer for today? If you believe God wants to prosper you, it would be contradictory for you to attend a church that believes poverty and lack are a state of holiness.

Incredibly, I've talked to many people who actually attend churches when they are in direct contradiction with the vision and doctrine of that church. They believe God has called them there to bring revelation to that pastor and congregation...to change their mind about the baptism in the Holy Spirit...to change their mind about healing...to change their mind about prosperity.

Though their intent might be for good, they are dreadfully deceived. They end up placing themselves in a position where they become a source of strife and division or they experience rejection and persecution because of their doctrinal differences. These are definite signs you are in the wrong church!

You don't commit to a church thinking you'll "straighten them out" doctrinally. You plug in where you agree, for as Amos 3:3 says: "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (KJV) When you're in the right place, you'll be able to agree with and receive from the vision God has given that church.

Source: The Winner's Way by Mac Hammond
Excerpt permission granted by Mac Hammond Ministries

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area and can also be viewed at winnersminute.com. He is also the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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