Don’t forget about local churches

Rewon Shimray | Cartoonist

Imagine it’s Sunday morning: You wake up to your alarm letting you know it’s time to get ready for church. For some, that looks like taking a shower, putting on their Sunday best and heading out for a morning service at their local church. For others, that means rolling out of bed, pulling out their laptop and pulling up a live stream of their favorite church.

This is a reality for a lot of modern day Christians. With the technology many churches have, more and more Christians, primarily young adults, have turned to streaming their favorite churches from the comfort of their bed instead of going to a physical location.

For college students, this may seem like a great alternative because they can watch their church from back home instead of having to find a new church. Others like to stream popular churches like Hillsong, Elevation or Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. And while it’s nice to lay in your bed and have church in the comfort of your own home, going out to a local church on Sunday morning should still be a priority.

Attending church on Sunday mornings is completely different than sitting at home. When you go out, there is one big thing that impacts you: the people you encounter. Community is an essential part of the Christian faith, and that belief is reaffirmed throughout the Bible.

In Matthew 18:20, it says that the Holy Spirit is present whenever believers gather, and Hebrews 10:24-25 tells believers to encourage one another through love and good deeds. Community adds a layer of encouragement and accountability that is vital to the Christian faith.

While local churches do add a sense of community, another option is a small group. You don’t need to be a part of a church to join a local small group. If you don’t resonate with a church in Waco, joining a small group ensures that you still have community and a sense of accountability around you. But, there are plenty of options for churches in Waco, and if one doesn’t feel like home to you, you can try another one the following weekend.

It’s also important to support local churches in the services they offer to the city they call home. In Waco specifically, many churches gathered together an army of volunteers to be dispersed all over the city to help boost reading levels in elementary schools. Getting involved with a local church in service projects can keep the projects alive and allow churches to keep benefiting their city.

Streaming church services isn’t a bad thing. You’re still taking in the teachings of God and absorbing His word, which is a good thing. Nevertheless, the Bible teaches that God made us to be a part of community — not to sit alone and listen to service on Sunday mornings. Outside sermons should be used a supplement to the local church, but the priority should still be to physically attend service on Sunday mornings.