Is Attending Church While in College Important?
Moving away from home and coming to college has its benefits and challenges. A new town, new people, a new place to live, a new hectic class schedule, and trying to find a new church home are just a few elements of college life that bring benefits and challenges. Is it really that important to find a church home while in college? Would it not be best to focus on school, attend my church back home when I have the chance to make it back, and then get plugged back in after college?
First of all, church attendance has nothing to do with salvation. You having 100% church attendance will not get you to heaven. You having 0% church attendance will not send you to hell. Salvation is a free gift from God. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” A person is saved by placing their faith in the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again for their sin. Calling upon Jesus Christ for salvation is what saves.
The church is God’s design to accomplish His work here on this earth. As we will see, the church is the people not the building! God uses people to accomplish His work on earth. He wants to use you! This is why it is so important for you as a student to find a church home while in school.
The Church Serves an Important Role in Life
These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (I Timothy 3:14-15)
The church exists for a reason and God’s Word gives us all the details. A church is a group of baptized believers who have voluntarily joined themselves together to carry out the Great Commission. The church has a real task and the power to carry that task out with. (Acts 1:8)
The church is the pillar and ground of the truth. God has entrusted the church with the responsibility to uphold the truth and raise it high for all the world to see. The New Testament emphasizes local visible churches (groups of people) as the physical expression of Christ’s body on this earth for all the world to see. Church means “a called out assembly”. A church is an assembly of people and not just a building on a street corner. Again the idea is a physical visible group of people. We would expect assemblies to assemble together for a specific purpose.
The Church Serves an Important Function in Every Believer’s Life
Is the function of the church solely to worship? According to scripture, no. The church has many other important functions. The two foremost functions in the Bible are to evangelize the entire world and uphold the truth of God’s Word. Other functions of the church include:
- Prayer (Acts 1:13-14)
- Hearing the Word of God (Acts 2:42)
- To sing (Col. 3:16)
- To give (I Cor. 16:1-2)
- To observe the two church ordinances (Acts 2:41-47; I Corinthians 11:23-32)
- For fellowship (Acts 2:42)
- To build up each another (Heb. 10:24-25).
Every meeting of the church should accomplish God’s purpose through these seven functions. Out of the functions of the church will come many areas of ministry you can serve in.
The Believer has an Important Role in the Church
The focus of the New Testament is believers belonging to a local church. Church membership identifies you with Christ, His people, and a body of doctrine. Why go to church? We do not go just to worship God because it is not a group sport but an individual thing anyone can do anywhere at anytime. There is so much more to going to church than just attending weekly meetings.
Do you go to church as a consumer looking for what you can get from it?
Being a consumer of a church misses the whole point. A church has a real mission and task in this world that needs members to help carry out this important mission.
The believer of the church should seek to find what they can do in the church. You should be involved in at at least one area of ministry a week. When you approach the idea of church you should seek what can I give and do and not what can I get. Do not let school and being away from home sidetrack your involvement. Find an area of ministry to get involved with or start one with the Pastor’s permission. You can be a devotional worshipper but you will miss God’s design for church and your Christian life. There is so much more to church than worshipping God on a set day of the week.