Do We Need The Church?
Do we need the church? Yes, but then you expected me to say that. Why even ask? I pose the question because there are people who will say things like, “I don’t need organized religion. Churches are full of hypocrites. If I believe in God, I can worship anywhere, whether on the golf course, in a tree stand, or sleeping-in on Sunday morning. They might think other people need a church or society benefits from its existence, but they have a hundred reasons why they don’t participate.
Every believer in Jesus Christ needs the church, and in light of what we’ve seen previously, he or she needs “a” church. To be part of a local body of Christ where there is preaching, worship, the ordinances, accountability, are and mutual edification is not simply helpful, it is of paramount importance.
Here are some key reasons why you need a church (in no particular ranking of importance).
- You need a place where you observe Christ’s commands. The ordinances of baptism and communion are based on the existence of a local church. We cannot baptize ourselves or share communion with ourselves. We need the body in order to obey.
- You need a place in which to practice the fifty-nine New Testament “one another” passages. Most of the “one another” passages make no sense if you are not part of a covenant group of people where there are personal relationships and knowledge.
- You need a place where you are identified publicly with Christ. Every local body of believers is a representation of the whole body of Christ. When a Christian identifies himself with a true church, he or she is publicly identified with Christ.
- You need a place where you regularly receive the word God preached and taught.
- You need a trusted church home to which you can invite the unsaved
- You need a community that recognizes your spiritual gifts and your ministry fit within the body.
- You need a place where you can serve within the mutual strength of the body. There is a synergy when the body works as a coordinated whole.
- You need the protection of others who watch over you and pray for you so that you are not outwitted by Satan’s schemes.
- You need a place where others can hold you accountable for your walk with Christ. Churches are admonished to do church discipline. By implication, the individual Christian needs a place where he or she is accountable to others.