Ladies, do you go to church? Do you believe that church is necessary in your walk with Christ? Well, some Christians don’t believe that going to church is important at all. They argue that they have a personal relationship with Jesus that can be maintained and strengthened by themselves, with just Jesus and the Bible.
While this may be the only option for some Christians who don’t have a church nearby, for many Christians, church is just not important. But should it be?
Before His ascension, Jesus established His church when He appointed Peter the visible head on earth and gave the other apostles authority to carry out His works. “You are Rock, and on this rock I will build my Church,” he said. “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)
Let’s be clear—the church that Christ founded was a body of people, not a building. And as followers of Jesus, we are all individual temples of God. But we followers of Christ need a place to come together and worship regularly.
Besides Christ’s establishment of His church, here are more reasons why all Christians need church:
1. Jesus went to church. Remember the story of 12-year-old Jesus going missing one Passover? Mary and Joseph searched for Him and finally found Him in the temple:
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when they saw him, they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:46-49)
There are many instances in scripture where Jesus refers to the temple as His Father’s house, or stories that tell of Him teaching in the temple, or Mary and Joseph presenting Him in the temple as was the custom. When Jesus turned the tables over at the temple, He said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a den of robbers.” Church is a sacred place for us to go and pray. And it’s a part of our spiritual life and worship.
2. Church guides us in the faith. Church helps us to know God. Just as Jesus listened and taught in the temple, our churches offer scriptural guidance and teachings about God and the life of Jesus. They offer us a path to our salvation by guiding us toward a holy lifestyle according to God’s law, not man’s.
3. It helps strengthen our relationship with Christ. Whether through Bible readings, youth groups, sermons or sacraments, church provides many ways in which we can strengthen our relationship with Christ. For example, some denominations offer sacraments instituted by Christ that convey grace, such as the Eucharist and Reconciliation. For these denominations, Christ is present during these sacraments, so attending Mass is fundamental in maintaining a Christian life and growing closer to God.
4. Support in times of trial. Life is not easy, for sure. But a church can offer light in a world full of dark moments. They provide the support needed to deal with the trials of life. Conversation and support from priests or pastors can be a lifeline to those who may feel isolated, lonely or forsaken.
5. Fellowship with other like-minded people. People come together in churches—people who share similar beliefs and values. And we often need others who share our faith to help strengthen ours, and vice versa. Church is a community of people.
Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. (Acts 2:43-47)
6. Opportunities to serve. The church is a giving entity. It’s one of charity and service, and when you are part of a church, you have the opportunity to serve others. Remember, when we love and serve others, we love and serve God. Church isn’t just a place we go to on Sundays; it’s who we are and what we do every day. Church is the place that teaches us how to be the people of Christ.
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Ladies, Jesus founded a church because He knew that we would need it to help us remain strong in our faith. We need church to come together and strengthen our church as a whole and as individual temples.
Your church should provide all of the above for you, and if it doesn’t, don’t blame church in general. Just find a church that does meet the requirements of a strong and faithful body of Christ’s followers.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. In Him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
Ladies, are you part of a church? Do you find that it helps you strengthen your relationship with Christ?