What if you are traveling somewhere where there is no church?



I wanted to say thank you for the way the website is set up. This has been great to look at a topic from many points of view using the question and answers.

My question is regarding attending services when you are away from the local church you're a member of.

I know our desire should be to seek the Lord first, but what does that mean if there is no church where I’m going? If I do my due diligence and cannot find one.

Studying with some people there are three options that I see.

  1. Don’t go there if you know there’s not a church and you will miss attending with the brethren and partaking of the Lord's supper.
  2. Maybe it’s okay to miss that Sunday because you're not forsaking or abandoning the church, you're just hindered in attending during your travels there. People use this excuse when they are sick or impaired and it’s okay to miss. How is being sick a better excuse than a trip? We don’t see that in the Bible. My concern for this approach is where is my heart at. What’s more important serving God or my trip?
  3. The last approach is to just have your own service with any Christians who are with you. So you're good if you just have at least one more brethren going with you. My concern here is I feel the church in all the examples is set up in a local way, where it is organized, the community knows they are there, and it is established. I think this could work if it was a long trip like a military deployment, for example, but not just the one Sunday you went on the trip.

After all my studies though, I feel option one is the best for a short trip. It’s hard for people to accept, but I think we have to remember we are strangers and pilgrims here and have to keep our minds on knowing our home is in Heaven.

Looking at the examples in the New Testament, we see when people traveled, they attended services. I know a lot of those examples are because men like Paul were traveling to teach, but that’s the examples we have. Additionally, we should be trying to encourage and stir up our brethren. When we go on a trip and the local churches see that priority in our lives, we are encouraging them.

So what are your thoughts on this? Would the other options work? It’s hard for me because of the reasons stated, but I’d rather have something more scriptural to talk to brethren with about the other options.

Also, I failed to mention it, but some may think you could worship virtually, but I don’t see how we can be together as it’s discussed in Corinthians.

Thanks again for your thoughts and input. I really enjoy your website. If there are other good sources like this out there, I'd greatly appreciate the information for them.


"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near" (Hebrews 10:23-25).

When brethren were scattered due to persecution after the church was first formed (Acts 8:4), I doubt that many were able to establish churches by the next weekend.

Many of the people you see traveling in the Bible often traveled as a group for safety. Paul often had traveling companions with him and it appears he worshipped with them until a church was established in the area they were working.

These sorts of situations would be considered temporary hindrances because there is no way to plan otherwise. When I travel, where I will worship is high on my list of considerations. I plan my travel days so that I will end up somewhere near a congregation on Sundays and I try to attend mid-week studies at places also. If there isn't a conservative congregation nearby, I will visit a more liberal group if necessary.

Because of the preparations, I can only think of one time I missed worship and that was because the airlines delayed one of my flights by a day. I have since learned to arrive a day early to avoid that sort of problem.

There may be times when situations will put you in a place where you are unable to worship with a congregation despite your best effort. Worshipping with traveling companions, while not ideal, would at least allow you to worship as best you can on the day the Lord is to be worshipped.

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