Three Reasons You Should Join a Church
Firstly, you should join a church because it’s in the Bible. We’re called to obedience. Think of Matthew 18. Jesus says to put out of the church the person who has been confronted in their sin and yet doesn’t turn from it. Paul says the same thing in 1 Corinthians 5. He talks about letting the person be removed from among you. How can you be put out unless there is an in? Or think of Acts 2 which talks about people repenting and believing, and it says that about 3,000 were baptized and added to their number that day. Added to what number? The church in Jerusalem.
Or think about all of the occurrences of the word church in the New Testament. For example, the churches in Galatia or the church in Philippi. Who are those people? Who is the church? Those are the members of the church in Philippi, the churches in Galatia, and so forth. Throughout the New Testament, what you have is Christians being a part of churches. That’s just how Christianity works. So we do it, number one, because it’s in the Bible.
Secondly, we do it because it’s what we are. We are members of the body of Christ. We are members of the family. We are sheep in the flock, bricks in the temple, priests in the temple. We are the church. We put that on, we enflesh that, we make that real in a local church. As I often say, Don’t tell me you’re a member of the family unless I actually see you at the family dinner table with the family all week. To join a church proves and demonstrates what you are a member of the body of Christ.
Thirdly, we join churches because it’s how we grow and flourish as believers. I need the shepherds. I need other sheep. I need other parts of the body. I need other bricks in the temple. I need the whole family of God, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers. I need them to grow as a Christian. By myself, I am not infinite like the Lord Jesus. I can’t display him in all of his glorious, wise, manifold splendor. I need other parts of the body—other spectrums on the diamond—to display Jesus in all his wonder and all his fullness.
We all need the body of Christ to know what it means to follow Christ.
So we need the body of Christ to grow and to know what it means to be a mature Christian. I need older men to say to me, This is how you love your wife. This is how you love your children. This is how you fight sin. This is how you repent of covetousness. You make this money and you kind of want to hold onto it. Giving it away or sharing it with others doesn’t seem very attractive, but look at those guys. Look at those families. Look at how generous they are.
That vision of godliness compels my heart. These brothers and sisters around me show me what it means to follow in the way of Christ. Think of Paul’s words: Follow me as I follow Christ.
Friend, do you want to follow Christ? Can you figure all that out in your head? Do you know exactly what that looks like? That’s impressive. The only other person I know who knew how to do that was Jesus. We all need the body of Christ to know what it means to follow Christ. So that’s my elevator pitch for why you should join and be a part of a church: obedience, it’s what you are, it’s how you grow.
Jonathan Leeman is the coauthor with Collin Hansen of Rediscover Church: Why the Body of Christ Is Essential.
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