I recently read a great article by Dan Reiland regarding involvement in church. He states, “Redemption has always been God’s purpose, and he appointed the church to carry out that purpose.”
It’s that simple. It’s been my experience that when you fail to get plugged into the church (the body of Christ), you begin to drift spiritually. That’s not always the case, but in the majority of situations, that represents reality.
As our busy lives wrap up another eventful summer, (at least for my family, but I am sure yours was also…), we need to be intentional about reconnecting with our family, including our church family.
We need Christ, and we need each other—that truth won’t change. The church is the greatest force on Earth to that end. Here are four reasons that it’s important to be part of a local church.
- We tend to drift spiritually when we are not connected relationally.
Church attendance is not required for salvation and spiritual growth, but without it, both become more challenging. Without the church as the foundation (the organized body of Christ in some fashion), the message of Jesus travels much slower.
When we drift from a community of believers, the human mind begins to rationalize: “I love God, and he loves me, I don’t need to go to church.” That’s true, but it’s only a half-truth, and half-truths often lead us down dangerous roads.
The other half is the overwhelming evidence that when you are connected to a group of committed believers, the likelihood of your continued spiritual growth is exponentially higher.
- Christianity was never intended to be an independent endeavor.
The nature of Christianity is essentially relational. The primary relationship is between God and man, and God and woman. That relationship was perfect until broken by sin (see Gen. 3:1–19). The relationship was restored by a covenant (relationship), through Abraham (see Gen. 12:2–3). That covenant promise was fulfilled through Christ—also a personal relationship.
Christianity was never intended to be a “Lone Ranger” proposition. We need each other. There is no perfect church, and there are no perfect Christians, but together we help each other become the persons God intended us to be.
- Our shared gifts, talents and resources make us stronger.
None of us are as strong alone as we are together. The spiritual gifts listed in passages such as Romans 12:4–7, Ephesians 4:11–12 and 1 Corinthians 12:4–11 paint a great picture of how we work together and strengthen each other.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Eph. 4:11–16)
- God ordained the church as his organized plan for redemption.
It’s a powerful thought that God ordained only two institutions, and one of them is the church (the other is marriage). That makes them both incredibly important, and it seems wise that we know what God has in mind for each one.
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Eph. 3:10–12)
Redemption has always been God’s purpose, and he appointed the church to carry out that purpose. And that purpose can help give our lives purpose. If church is God’s idea, then for believers, your life becomes deeper and richer as you give your whole heart to the people and the mission of the church.