By Sonny Simak
I often meet professing Christians who say that they do not want to be part of a local church because they have their own views/reasons as to why belonging to a church is not important. Here are some of the common phrases I have heard people use ……
- ‘The Lord has not called me to join any church.’
- ‘The Lord and I have our own thing going on.’
- ‘There aren’t good churches in my town.’
- ‘I find church services quite boring.’
- ‘Church leaders are very controlling.’
And the list goes on and on…
On the contrary, the Bible suggests that all Christians should be part of a local fellowship. So, here are some biblical reasons why you should join a local church if you consider yourself to be a Christian.
1. Jesus Christ established the church.
Christ said,” Upon this Rock I will establish my church.” (Matthew 16:18)
Jesus is the head of the church. He instituted the church. Many people think that a church is merely a building made of bricks and mortar but little do they know that the church is the body of believers who worship the Lord in one spirit and mind. Jesus predicted the nature of the church (Matthew 16:18-19) and prayed for the unity of the church (John 17:20-21). The church matters to Jesus because He died for His church.
2. You can worship the Lord with others.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in he name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
If you carefully study the words of our Lord and the apostles then you will realise that all Christians are called to join a local church where they can receive the ministry from the church leaders and fellow believers. Many of the letters in the New Testament were written to churches. Church is a fellowship where you have the privilege of taking part in the Lord’s Supper and Baptism as our Lord has commanded it to be.
3. Your local church can offer encouragement to you.
“Bear one another’s burden, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
You can receive a real ministry from God and His people. God can use your local church to shape your Christianity. I know it works because I, myself have hugely benefited from it. You can experience real “iron sharpening iron” moments in your local fellowship. You can build good and honest relationships with others in the church. Your pastors or fellow believers can provide encouragement, correction and comfort during your time of spiritual, psychological or physical need.
4. You can offer encouragement to your local church.
“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)
You will be surprised that God can use every Christian to bring encouragements in the life of a local church fellowship. You can support your church through the means of spiritual and practical help. I know (from my very short experience of church planting) how exciting and joyous it can be for Christians when somebody new joins the local fellowship. It really is a moment of deep joy for all members of the local church.
5. You local church offers accountability.
“If your brother sins against you go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15-17)
Jesus calls all Christians to be accountable not only to God but also to fellow believers. This was instituted for our benefit. Keeping accountability means we can avoid sin and its consequences and begin to grown in wisdom, grace and love. Through accountability you can keep a brother or sister from falling away from faith. Many Christians have fallen away from their faith because they have failed to appreciate accountability.
6. You can bring change in your local community through your local church.
“Through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:10)
We often complain about abuse, drugs, anger, greed, malice, envy, racism in our society. Whilst there are many good people out there combating these issues, you too can bring a change in your local neighbourhood through the means of your local church as we are called to let our light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
So, if you have not given any thought of attending church, may I take this opportunity to ask you to join us for our church service this Sunday?