<!– Go to www.addthis.com/dashboard to customize your tools –> <div class=”addthis_inline_share_toolbox”></div><!– –>
The beginning of the Church is on display in Acts, but it looked much different than church as we know it today. The original church setting was more like a Bible study format, it didn’t necessarily meet on a Sunday, and it usually lasted longer than an hour. Unfortunately, over the years, we have sometimes transformed “church” into something more of a tradition that fits our own needs, but that’s not how it was intended to be. Originally, the church was designed to be a community to do life— even when it’s messy— together and with Christ.
When I was younger, I hated that my parents dragged me to church. In my immature mind, I thought, “My salvation is not based on whether I go to church or not, so why do I have to go? God will still love me!” While that wasn’t wrong, it was not a Christ-like way of thinking. In a culture of passive involvement and online streaming, it is important to be involved in a church community. Here are four reasons why:
1. The Church is the Body of Christ
Webster’s dictionary describes a member as “a body part or organ: such as a limb.” The church is the body of Christ. Just as a person cannot walk if their legs are not working properly, the body of Christ needs Christians in the church to have the whole body working accurately. Ephesians 4:15-16 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 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.” For the body of Christ to work, believers must trust God and worship Him together in unity.
2. Christ is Married to the Church
Marriage is one of the best pictures of togetherness and unity, and it was created by God. There are numerous examples in the Bible that point to Christ and His bride, the Church. The Church as a whole is united to Christ as in a marriage. Both Christ and the Church have a role to play, like in marriage, and if one is not holding their part up, the marriage does not work properly. Just as Ephesians 5:22-24 says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” Since Christ is the ultimate Savior, we must humble ourselves and submit to Him. We cannot do that without being a part of the broader church community.
3. Church Keeps You Accountable
At times in my life that I haven’t been part of a church and have been lacking Christian community, though Christ was faithful to me, I stumbled and fell into sin much easier. If I were surrounded by other Christians encouraging me and keeping me accountable, I don’t think my sin patterns would have been the same. Humans are not meant to go through life alone, and believers definitely aren’t! We are exposed to worldly ways of living every day, and it can be exhausting to weave through this fallen world alone. But when we come together as a body, praising and worshipping God corporately, or praying together in a Bible study, the Holy Spirit works. Suddenly, you find strength and encouragement to keep walking in your Christian life.
4. The Bible Says So
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And 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.” The Bible literally commands us to meet together. We need to love and encourage each other toward Christ, and the only way to do that is to be with other believers under Christ… and often!
The Bible speaks to a crowd of people just as well as it speaks to you. While personal time with the Lord is a must, Christians are meant to worship together, too. I understand that schedules can be difficult and it may be hard to get out of bed to go to church, but Christ never called us to anything easy. Being an active member in church should be a priority, and I encourage each of you (and myself!) to be in the habit of coming to church and eagerly diving into community.