The importance of the local church


Why is the local church so important to believers in Christ? Can't I stay home and listen to a sermon, pray by myself or go outside and worship through the beauty of nature? Yes, in fact, you can, but that is not church.

When you have this mindset, you minimize the importance of what the local church stands for. It is not merely a place to go to sing songs and listen to a sermon; it is the community of believers. Church is not a building; it is the body of Christ.

I'm a car guy, so when I'm around other car enthusiasts, my excitement about cars grows. When fishermen are around others who like to fish, their passion for it grows. The same goes for any hobby.

Likewise, excitement about God is stirred up when we're with others who share that passion. When we have no outlet to express our excitement, the passion starts to wane.

The reason why community is so important is because of the structured support of like-minded individuals. In the same way that car guys meet up and share knowledge and experience with those who are in need, Christians do the same through the local church body. When you find yourself struggling, being surrounded by those who can help you is much easier than suffering alone, unsure of what to do.

We see in Acts Chapter 2 how believers in the early church lived their lives in a tight-knit community:

"All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper), and to prayer....And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity." (Acts 2:42 and 44-46)

For these early followers of Christ, church was not something they went to on Sunday morning. It instead described a like-minded group of people who ate meals together, fellowshipped together daily and shared their belongings with those in need. Despite this being how the church started, some of us don't even want to see each other once a week, let alone outside of Sunday mornings.

If we picture the church as a herd of zebras and Satan as a prowling lion as he is described in the Bible (see 1 Peter 5:8), it is always the zebra out on his own that is targeted first. So I ask our opening question again – why is the local church so important? For fellowship, support, protection, care, love and because Jesus told us not to neglect meeting together.

Hebrews 10:25 states, "And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."


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