With our church, we say, “Our passion is the gospel. Our church is our family. Our world is our mission.” We say this because we believe it, and we know that to follow the Lord and grow in our relationship with Him, we must sincerely embrace and prioritize His gospel, His family, and His mission. All three of those are part of knowing and following Jesus Christ.
When strangers call or come by my office asking for money or some other sort of assistance, something I always ask in those conversations is, “Do you have a church family?” I ask that question not only to open the door for a spiritual discussion but also to tell them that difficult times are an important reminder of how much we need a church family.
I love my church family! And, I know that if I was ever in a difficult situation and needing help, there are dozens of people I could call. No, I do not mean that I would need to call the church office and get official assistance. I mean I could call individuals and get help in the midst of difficulty because our church really is family.
Of course, we do not join a church family for what we can get out of church membership, just like we do not surrender our lives to Jesus Christ for what we can get out of Him. Rather, we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ in order to have a right relationship with God and know Him, and we join a church family to glorify God and serve others.
Yes, there are obvious benefits to the Christian life, including eternal life, peace that passes all understanding, joy that transcends difficulty, hope that cannot be taken away, and forgiveness of sins. Ultimately, though, we turn to Jesus to be made right with God because we want to know and follow Him.
Likewise, there are obvious benefits of church family, including encouragement from other believers, partnership in the gospel, accountability, help in bearing your burdens, and fellowship centered on the gospel. Ultimately, though, we join a church family to obey the Word of God, honor Him, and because we need one another. We cannot function, grow, and thrive – as God intends – apart from faithful church involvement.
“If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).
This is how things are supposed to be because church is family. We need one another.
Do you have a church family? If not, what are you waiting for? Do not fall into the trap of hopping around from church to church, never committing to a church family that can hold you accountable and encourage you in your walk with Jesus. Join a church that preaches the gospel and lives according to the Word of God. You need the church, and every church needs spiritually healthy church members.