I am a firm believer in being faithful to God's church in attending services, programs, and events. While attending doesn't save you, it certainly shows how much you value the Lord and His church. God did not establish the church for our attendance to be optional. He also didn't establish the church for our involvement to be optional either.
God created and established the church as His spiritual body on earth to be the means to which the world will come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We "the church" was God's chosen vessel to get this message out the "gospel" "good news" so that people will know about Jesus Christ and accept them as their Lord and Savior and follow Him. The church not only has a calling to seek and save the lost, but we also are to make disciples which means once we become Christians we should learn and grow in our faith so that we can share it with others, but also serve the Lord through His church, not just attend church services, but participate and be involved in the kingdom work.
If you are a Christian, you are a part of the body of Christ, if you are a part of the body of Christ you actually have a "part" in the body, which means you participate and be involved in the life of the body. The body can't have living and dead parts. The body can't have active and inactive body parts. If that is the case then the body won't be healthy and won't work properly. Can you imagine if your physical body had parts that were alive and parts that were dead? Or parts that were active and parts that were not? Some people live with physical disabilities because of disease or accident that limits them in some ways and we limit the body of Christ when we don't do our part and participate.
God did not call us to sit on the bench or sidelines, He wants us to get up and get involved. I can remember being in school and taking gym class or PE and the only requirement to get an "A" was to dress and participate. How easy is that? You didn't have to be good at sports or exercise you just had to be willing to participate in order to get a grade. That is a true "A" for effort. That is what God wants from all of us effort and willingness to participate, but the good news is God supplies us all with certain gifts and abilities that He wants us to us in His church.
Gods desire is for all His children to desire to be in church, to attend worship services and bible studies, etc... but He also desires for His children to not just attend and warm a pew or a chair, but to actually participate. Maybe that means serving communion, or offering a prayer. Maybe that means working in the nursery, or teaching a Sunday school class? Maybe that means leading a ministry or serving as a deacon or an elder? Maybe that means learning to run sound system or singing in the choir? I don't know what it means for you, but I know God doesn't expect a handful of the body parts to do all the work for the entire body, yet that is what we have in most churches, a few doing the work for all and it's time that changes.
I want to encourage you wherever you got to church, no matter your age, or how long you've been a Christian to find a way not only to be faithful to God and His church with your attendance, but also with your involvement and participation. God didn't create you to be a by-stander or a freeloader in the church. He created you to worship, serve, give, and participate. We should participate with Christ in a variety of ways realizing being a Christian is about being like Him and being a church member is about being a part of His body.
10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death