Why Belong To A Local Church?

The local church is a miracle. It exists for one reason: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every time you go to church you are declaring--by that act--your belief that the resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact. Each local church can trace it's origin back to Pentecost. The family tree of every church is rooted in Acts 2.

Jesus established the local church. He said, "on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it" (Matt. 16:18). Later He affirmed His sanction and support for the local church by dictating seven letters to seven local congregations (Rev. 2-3). His apostles carried on His work by establishing local churches. The majority of our New Testament is compiled of letters written to local congregations. 

In addition to the fact that the local church is our glorious Lord's own creation, there are other reasons why we should belong to, faithfully attend, serve in and though, and support a local church. The following are a few.

Accountability

One of the marks of the new birth is submission (1 Peter 2:13-3:15). We are to be accountable to each other and our leaders. The local church gives us a structure for Scriptural accountability. This is why--you may have noticed--when a Christian backslides one of the first things to go is church attendance. They do not want to be Scripturally accountable to anyone. 

Kingdom Investment

The local church gives us a place to invest our resources in God's kingdom. Listen, we do not "have to" bring our tithes to the storehouse... we get to (Malachi 3:10)!

Service

Every Christian is endowed with at least one spiritual gift. These are supernatural enablements given to serve Jesus through serving His body (1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12; Ephesians 4). 

Training

The local church is a place where we can learn and grow in our faith (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 2:2).

Testimony

Every church has a theological stance... a statement of beliefs... a creed. When you align yourself with a church you are aligning yourself with that church's creed. You are saying, by your membership: "I believe what this church believes." So your membership is a part of your testimony.  

Sacraments

It is in the local church that we have the privilege of sharing the sacraments with our Christian brothers and sisters. 

Community Improvement

A municipality is only as healthy as it's heart--and the church is it's heart. A strong community must have a strong church at it's core. Your participation in a local church helps to ensure that your community will be a better place in which to live and raise a family. 

Launch Pad for Missions and Ministry

Your local church provides a home base from which to launch out and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). 

Encouragement

Our local church gives us a place to give and recieve encouragement. 

Example

We all learn by observation. Our local church ought to provide us with examples of faithful men and women of God. 

Love

We are commanded to "love one another." Our local church gives us a place where we can affirm our faith by loving others.

Grace

No church is perfect because the church is people, and there are no perfect people. Our church gives us a place where we can show grace to and receive grace from others. 

Faithfulness to a local church is not an option for Christ-followers--it is an obligation and a necessity. God has fixed the process so that no individual Believer can be all that He intended without connection to other Believers. Our growth depends upon our relationship with other Christians. So, we all NEED the church!