17. A Place to Belong


While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intends it to be private. We are created for community; We are members of his Body: the church. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. You cannot exist on your own.

I can't imagine saying to Jesus, "I accept you, but I reject your body. The Bible says a Christian without a church home is like a sheep without a flock, or a child without a family. Today's culture of independent individualism has created many spiritual orphans, who hop around from one church to another without any identity, accountability, or commitment.

Why you need a church family:

  • It identifies you as a genuine believer. Jesus said, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples”.
  • It moves you out of self-centered isolation. The local church a lab for practicing unselfish, sympathetic love.
  • Only participation in the full life of a local church builds spiritual muscle. We are commanded to love each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, admonish each other, serve each other, teach each other, accept each other, and many other mutual tasks.
  • It needs you. Jesus has not promised to build your ministry; he has promised to build his church.
  • As members of Christ's body, we are his hands, his feet, his eyes, and his heart. He works through us in the world. 
  • It will help keep you from backsliding. God has assigned us as individuals to keep each other on track.

The difference between being a church attender and a church member is commitment:

Are spectators from the sidelines.
* Are consumers.
* Want the benefits without responsibility (like couples living together). 

* Get involved in the ministry.
Are contributors.
* T
ake responsibility (like the commitment of marriage).

God wants you to love real people, not ideal people. You can spend a lifetime searching for the perfect church, but you will never find it. You are called to love imperfect sinners, just as God does.


Question to Consider:       
Does my level of involvement in my local church demonstrate that I love and am committed to God's           family? 

Verse to Remember:
In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Romans 12:5