What Do I Need Church For? (Originally Published April 1, 2013)
“God never intended for us to live out our spiritual lives on our own. When someone is connected to Christ through baptism, they are also connected with the saints… everyone else who is in Christ. We need each other and we need to be faithful to His church. We must not forget that the “church” is not the meeting place where we gather on Sunday mornings to worship God. We are the church and we are the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27). It’s unacceptable to God to say we love Him and yet not participate fully in a local church. Admittedly, people are turned off at times by a church because it is full of sinful people. It’s so easy to look at the faults of others as an excuse to give up on church or not get involved. On the other hand, how beneficial would it be if more people would examine themselves and their motives for a lack of church participation?
Following are some ideas for sparking our desire to spend time with Christ and His church:
1.Attend and get involved: Don’t expect to grow closer to God and other christians if you’re never at church. It’s important to consistently attend and not just sit in the back where you can make a quick exit. Get involved, find a place to serve, and don’t wait for an invitation.
2. Focus on Jesus, not on others: Jesus is perfect, people are not. If you’re looking for a perfect church, let me know when you find one because they do not exist. Be forgiving of others just as you would expect forgiveness for yourself.
3. Be a blessing: Are you known as an eternal pessimist? Do you just take and never give? God gave each of us unique gifts not just to serve ourselves, but to use to give, serve, and encourage others. Look up the word edification. It is one of the most important functions of the church.
4. Share God with others: This is God’s ultimate mission for us. If we really love Him and are grateful for everything He has done in our lives, we should be bursting at the seams to share Him with others. And after they become a part of God’s family, look for ways to love, serve, and help them.
As a final word, although I’ve been a Christian for a while, I need you. I need to see you at church. I need to know you’re praying for me. I need your encouragement. I need your forgiveness and your patience. I need your love. But most of all, I want to join hands with as many saints as possible as we seek to know and serve our God from now into eternity.”
I have written many posts over the last few years referencing the importance of the church, but this was the first one I penned for this blog. To be honest, part of me understands the discontent some have with the church. Have I been hurt or let down by my Christian brothers and sisters before? Have there been decisions and situations that I have not entirely agreed with within my church family? Sure, but by in large, my spiritual family has provided a great amount of support and encouragement during my Christian walk.
It’s not difficult to look into God’s word and find a major importance placed on the church. It baffles me to think that some Christians want to have a relationship with Christ without having a relationship with the church. That is impossible because the church is the bride of Christ, the bride he died to save. It would be like trying to grow a plant without the sun. We cannot completely grow as Christians without the nurturing of the church.
It really boils down to the attitude we have. Do we love God enough to love his bride as well, even with her imperfections? And if we are not loving the church as we’re called to do, are we really loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength?
I’ll end the revisit of this post the same way I ended the last one. “Although I’ve been a Christian for a while, I need you. I need to see you at church. I need to know you’re praying for me. I need your encouragement. I need your forgiveness and your patience. I need your love. But most of all, I want to join hands with as many saints as possible as we seek to know and serve our God from now into eternity.”