Q: I’ve always been pretty independent, and the idea of going through all the hassle of getting up and going to church has never attracted me. What’s wrong with just watching a church service on TV? I’d be hearing the same message I’d hear if I went, wouldn’t I? — N.J.
A: Yes, you probably would hear the same message, and I’m thankful God has enabled some churches to extend their outreach through radio and television (and even the internet). People who are older (as I am) or have health problems are especially grateful for the opportunity to hear God’s Word and share in a church service in this way.
But I hope you’ll also stop and realize what you’ll be missing if you only watch a church service on television.
First, you’ll miss the opportunity to be part of the congregation — to sing with others, to give to God’s work and especially to get to know other believers and learn from them (and they from you). The Bible says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together … but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
But you also may miss the opportunity to serve Christ alongside your fellow believers. A vital church isn’t just inward-looking; it also looks outward and seeks to serve others in the name of Jesus.
The most important thing I can urge you to do, however, is to make sure of your personal commitment to Jesus Christ. Have you invited him to come into your life, and are you seeking to follow him every day? The Bible says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.