Christ loves the Church. No, that does not do it justice. Christ LOVES the Church like He is passionately, zealously, jealously, self-sacrificially, head over heels in love with the Church, which makes me wonder: how did we ever fall so out of love with the church?
Maybe you are a Christian who has had a bad experience with church, or you are just unimpressed with it. Well, no church is perfect, but there are some things that every church is tasked with doing that make it essential to God’s work in the world.
Community. I remember David Platt said once, “It is not good for man to be alone, but no one is alone in the church.” You are not alone. Oh, how we need to hear that! The Gospel does not just alleviate our loneliness by introducing us to Jesus, but also to his followers.
We are designed to deeply crave human contact. We need it almost as much as we need God’s contact. This grates against our American independence, and we want to be spiritually self-sufficient, but we need to love and be loved.
And when the Church is operating as it should, there is a permeating spirit of love that is winsome to non-believers and healing to believers. This community is vital to the Gospel’s work individual post-salvation.
In this community, you discover discipleship. We learn by example. You can read awesome books on marriage all day, but there is no replacement for really getting to know families living in the love and harmony God intended.
College Bible studies are great for connecting with people going through similar troubles, but none of them have the years of experience that older adults have.
Think about how much you have grown as a person over the past five years. Now multiply that growth times five. That is the insight you get when you are part of the multi-generational Church.
We learn by example, and in the Church, we can find models for life (This hearkens back to 2 Thessalonians 3, where Paul talks about working, “in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.”)
Our discipleship is more than just getting to know God better. It is seeing God working in so many ways throughout a body of people.
Opportunities to meet needs. Through the church, you can help people who have real problems. You and your church family can feed the hungry and visit the sick, ya know, all that stuff Jesus wanted us to do (See Matthew 25 for details).
And you will be blessed in the process. If someone has not been engaged in doing and living the Gospel through the Church, then his faith might just be dead, and nothing will make you feel more alive in Christ than being a little Christlike to someone who needs love and truth. Meeting real needs and serving brings the Gospel to life in a tangible way for people who otherwise might dismiss God.
Worship that pleases God. So I put this last, but it really is the most important. How the church affects human relationships is insignificant compared to the fact that meeting with a Church body pleases God.
If you affirm the Trinity, you affirm that God is a unified community just as He is one God. The Father, Son, and Spirit live in perfect harmony. As beings made in the image of God, we should reflect this.
Jesus, right before He dies, prays for His disciples, asking, “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:11).
The Psalmist also says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity . . . ! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” Unity is not just the absence of arguing; it is the active coming together of God’s people.
He wants to hear our souls singing His praise and harmony, and we cannot do that by singing spiritual solos and trying to have church by ourselves in the dorm room.
You may say, “Hey, I’m involved in a lot. I don’t need something else to do.” But this is not one more club — this is home. This is the family you can depend on. It is more than your tribe, your team, or your BSU friends. The Church is forever, and it is Christ’s hands and feet on the Earth.
If you are still not convinced, then throw out my arguments and just meditate on these words from Hebrews 10, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
– Alex Hendry, Contributing Writer
- Don’t Lose Hope by Skyler Miller (everydaylccyouth.wordpress.com)