“I Don’t Need Church!” 

Why that’s wrong thinking

by Lisa Quintana

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard Christians say that: “I don’t need to go to church! Me and Jesus are doing just fine.”  It’s a very single-minded thought that is not grounded in Biblical truth or sociological truth, either.

“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25.

Modern philosophers are onto something when they acknowledge a metaphysical view that people grow in character largely in part by the communities in which they participate. For example, it’s well known that if young boys get involved in gangs, they’ll become violent.1 The community is a reflection on their virtues. That is why, instead, it’s vital people belong to communities that demonstrate high moral values.

This same principle also applies to Christians. The church community influences your morals. But if you’re a lone sheep (symbolically speaking), you’re more likely to get attacked by a predator. That’s why sheep form flocks because staying close together provides more safety.  Christians need to attend church regularly to stay ‘safe’ in their faith (we have other kinds of predators that try to defeat us spiritually), and this helps with accountability. 

The Lone Sheep?

If we don’t attend a Christian fellowship of some kind, it’s easy to slip into sinful behavior. That is why when we surround ourselves with other believers,  if we’re not acting Christ-like, then our brothers and sisters (who are in our small groups or bible studies) can speak into our lives lovingly, helping to correct behavior that may steer us away from a solid Christian ethic. Attending a small group does not negate the need for regular church attendance, especially if you go to a very large church where it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. If you attend a smaller church, then it’s likely you will be noticed missing (if you have not attended recently). If you go to a large church, you need to plug into a smaller group within that church to have that Christian accountability.

There at least two dozen Bible verses (from 1 Corinthians 15:33 to Proverbs 13:20, etc.) that speak on an overall theme also reflected in some modern narrative philosophiesyou become the company you keep. We tend to imitate those around us and that makes being part of a healthy Church body crucial to developing not only your personal walk with the Lord but a lifestyle of virtue. 

The narrative idea is an area in postmodern thinking that is good. People love stories! That’s one of the reasons Jesus spoke in parables. For example, if we want to reach the post-truth2 generation with the gospel message of Christ and what it means to be a Christian, narrative is a good place to begin. 

We are all part of a bigger story – pay attention to which narrative in which you surround yourself.

True, there is no perfect church. I know some who have been hurt by people in the church, nonetheless, we are all broken people trying to become more Christlike. We need to practice forgiveness and grace. Find a good church that preaches the gospel and sticks to historic Christian doctrine and attend.

As a follower of Jesus, you belong to the Christian worldview narrative, and being involved in a Church body is part of that story. We learn habits, ways of living, from the ones we surround ourselves with, and our character is shaped inside this narrative. However, this should be grounded in telos3, otherwise it can shift and change, and the individual can be tossed about like a ship on the ocean with no anchor. Telos is that anchor. Where do we find that telos? In the study of the life of Jesus, and by participating in the Body of Christ, His Church.4

This telos helps foster a singleness of purpose, which in a Christian narrative, is to see God, to know Him, and to love Him (Matt. 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom…). Here is where the ideas of being involved in a bigger narrative, rather than our own, individual expression, works for development of a virtue ethic.

What is a virtue ethic? Virtue ethics is arguably the oldest ethical theory in the world, with origins in Ancient Greece. It defines good actions as ones that display virtuous character traits, like courage, loyalty, or wisdom. A virtue itself is a disposition to act, think and feel in certain ways. 

Jesus taught us the best virtue ethic in his Sermon on the Mount. 

Belonging to a church family helps you to embody these virtues by being with others who are living in that narrative of Christ-likeness, encouraging one another to remain steadfast in the faith despite what the culture is doing. 

In the coming days, Christians are going to need each other like never before. We need prayer, we need trust, we need help to “walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7)

We should be living in the narrative of the Body of Christ, because we are connected to each another. We belong to the greatest story ever told, and our lives are not our own – we’ve been bought with a price that is difficult to fully comprehend.5

We are a collective of believers, not meant to be “solo sheep.”

This price demands that we don’t live solo Christian lives — it’s not about us — it’s about God’s plan for humanity, and that plan involves a collective nature, one that does not focus on the individual but on the greater good of all God’s children and His kingdom.


  1. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, “Gangs & Children,” article accessed June 26, 2022, https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Children-and-Gangs-098.aspx. 
  2.  “Post-truth” is that objective fact is less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief, as defined by Oxford dictionaries. 
  3.  Telos in philosophy is an ethical focus on means and ends of human action.
  4.  See: Romans 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12; 1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 4:4; Col. 1:24.
  5.  See: 1 Cor. 6:19-20.


  1. Nancy E. Head July 15, 2022
    • LisaQAuthor August 3, 2022
  2. Yvonne Morgan August 4, 2022
    • LisaQAuthor August 4, 2022
  3. Karen Friday August 6, 2022
    • LisaQAuthor August 6, 2022