If a Christian lives in a place where there is no church to attend, what should he or she do?
The Bible teaches the importance of regularly meeting together with other believers to grow (Hebrews 10:25), but what if you live in an area where there is no church to attend? In China and many other nations, restrictions exist that limit or prohibit official church gatherings. What can believers do in these situations?
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First, a Christian can continue to grow personally. Personal prayer, the study of God's Word, and obeying God's teachings in everyday life are important to spiritual health.
Second, seek alternative options such as online church groups, television, or radio ministries. Many organizations have developed to assist those in unchurched areas to grow and connect with other believers.
Third, pray for a few Christian friends you can meet with in a home group or other location to grow together. Church does not require a special building, but can include home church gatherings or secret church meetings in a variety of locations. You can begin even with one other Christian who will regularly meet with you to read the Bible, pray together, or sing songs of worship to God.
In these situations, a home church can seek to follow the simple habits found in Acts 2:42-47 among the first church in Jerusalem:
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Fourth, in some areas you may be able to have worship gatherings on special occasions instead of every week. For example, in some areas a Bible teacher is only able to visit once a month to gather with believers in a restricted area. Meeting together at these times is better than not meeting at all. In fact, the New Testament showed that churches often gathered for special meetings when a traveling minister visited the area.
A regular church family is ideal, but in some situations God may have another way designed for you to grow spiritually with other believers. Do not be discouraged. Instead, seek how God can connect you with other Christians to worship God, grow spiritually, and share Him with others.
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