"I don't need to go to church to be a Christian" If I hear this another time, I think I might scream. It is kind of like saying, I don't need to breathe to be a human. Do I need to breathe in order to be considered human? Not necessarily, but it is a good idea for life!
The number one reason for attending worship, To receive the gifts of God! In worship, He has promised to be there, when the Word is preached and Sacraments administered. God gives his forgiveness, changes us through the Holy Spirit, and keeps us in the one true faith.
This is the top reason why be in worship. However, what is the typical parental response to a high schooler when they are about to be waken up for church, "You go just because you are supposed to" or, "If you loved Jesus, you would go" or "To be around your friends." However, not only is it all law, but what if they don't have friends at the church, what if no one talks to ya, is it still the church or should we go the YMCA or some social club to get the much needed community?
How much do we talk about gifts? How much do we talk about a need for the Word? How much do we talk about the Word outside of the one hour?
Jesus promises in John 15, "4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
Worship is the time that God has promised to work in our lives through His means, so we are called in Baptism to be part of that community and be changed by Him. My prayer is that all of you make worship a priority and receive His gifts!