Even though in America more churches are closing than opening each year (at this time), there are about 1,500 new church start-ups per year just in America. Of course world-wide the number of new church start-ups is staggering. The point is: In the scriptures much is said about the Church. Here in this verse we see that churches were growing daily. If you are not in a church, (a local congregation where people get together to hear the word of God preached, teach their children and provide many blessings and gifts for all that attend, and they also reach out to those who do not attend and in some cases even support others in other countries) then you are missing out on a phenomenon at least and many daily blessings also.
The reason the Church increased daily in Bible times was no different than today. Men, women, teens and children need fellowship; they need to learn their Bible; they need to socialize with people who have identified themselves with the Lord. Can you be saved and not go to church? Of course. But you can be a millionaire and not spend any of your money also. What's the point? Quit wining about what the church does or doesn't offer and get in there and help to make it a better environment with your presence.
Some of the new start-ups are incredible. Some of the mega-churches are growing because they are feeding the sheep. Some of the local denominational churches that have been there for 100 years are doing a great work. Find what's right in them, not what's wrong. Get in a new start up and suffer with the saints. Support your local pastor. Bless him financially and then even more.
The mentality that you should starve your pastor is of the devil. If your pastor is not getting paid a handsome sum, provided excellent housing and then showered with gifts, you are not doing your part. Even if your pastor is just not that great, lift him or her up and make them great. The devil is in charge of: tear-the-pastor-down-and-keep-him-down-so-you-don't-have-to-pay-him/her-well-syndrome.
Here is some benefits of going to a church instead of staying home and trying to act as is you were more spiritual or advanced than those that go to church:
- You will meet some great people
- You will have the opportunity to reach out to others to help them
- You will get help yourself when you need it
- You will sense the presence of God and find more truths inside of yourself that if you try to do it alone
- You will be building up (not tearing down) the kingdom of God
- You will receive revelation, visions, special impartations to you inside your soul. Do with them as you please, but you cannot be in a sanctuary and not receive from God, unless you are the one that is spiritually dead.
- You will receive blessings from others around you, many.
- You will be strengthened in your faith.
- You will (if you go to a contemporary service) probably hear the best live music anywhere.
- You will hear more Bible and read more Bible than if you try to wing it alone.
- You will see how other people are coping with life and it will advance your consoling perspective in life.
There are so many more. Be a part of what God is doing. God designed the church and to be in the will of God you will have to let your guard down a little and swallow some pride.
You may have been hurt in the past by church members. So what? People are always going to let you down, but that's no reason to abandon the work of God.
You might not like the pastor. Get over it? It's not about liking anybody. Is that your litmus test whether you are going to learn from someone? If it is you have been duped. You have been learning from writers, philosophers, TV personalities and many others in whom you have never even met. You probably wouldn't like some of them either.
You might feel that the church you were going to is too dry. Then go to another church. Go to a start-up, go to a mega-church or go to another denomination, but go.
What you need that only a church can provide and what you can offer that no one else can is the only reason you really need to become a part of a congregation.