Recently, I saw an article by Fox saying that the new movement of church is going to be “virtual church.” The idea is that people will connect on a social media platform and watch church from the comfort of their own homes. Everything else in the world is going virtual so of course the church needs to follow suit, because, the church needs to be on the cutting edge of everything to stay relevant, right?
Nope! When Jesus left this earth his last command to us wasn’t to stay relevant and to change everything to stay hip with the times but rather Matthew chapter 28 verse 19 tell us it was to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Sure, it doesn’t mean that we have just one way of doing that, but for the last 2000 years we have been gathering as saints gathering in homes or buildings, but it was getting together in a physical location.
Social media will not help us to create a new type of church. It isn’t going to replace the old way. Sure, people will come and watch from home but for true church to happen we need fellowship with fellow believers. One reason for this is that when you live life with people you can’t pretend anymore, sure, you can have a façade for a time, but people will see through it.
When you’re around people they will see what you are truly like, and if you are walking the walk or faking it. We called to be part of a biblical church. Here are five more reasons I have thought of for why you need church.
You need to be a member of a church to have accountability, where pastors/elders and other members in love approach you on your sin and confront it. In this life, we are supposed to be becoming more life Jesus, a process called sanctification. If I can’t see my blind spots those, I do church with can. I remember the time when a friend approached me in love with a sin of pride I had in my life.
Yes, I was not impressed, not wanting to accept it, but he did it in love and the veil was pulled back I repented and became more like Christ. Being a member of a church that holds to accountability means that men and women can call you out in LOVE and trust me, we need it.
When theology gets challenging
Have you ever heard something that was very uncomfortable or confrontational in the Bible? You want to run and scream, “no my God would never do that,” yet it is written right there in His word. For me one such truth was the Sovereignty of God. It was and is a hard doctrine to swallow, but we need to sit in church, in Bible studies, and in fellowship so that we are not tempted to turn off the channel when the doctrine gets hard.
We all love hearing about a loving God but what about hard truths of sin, God’s wrath and hell. If we are watching church, we would be tempted to just switch it to something easier and like 2 Timothy chapter 4 verse 3 warns “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching,but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.”
Using your gifts
We all are given talents from the Lord and we are commanded to use them. 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verses 4 -6 says “there are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” We all have different roles and if you are not plugged into a church how are you using your gifts to further God’s kingdom?
This past month I had the joy of serving at my church for their annual Shepherds Conference where 4500 pastors from around the world came to our church for 4 days of fellowship, teaching and equipping. It was such an honor to be one of the thousand volunteers who got to joyfully minister hospitality to these men.
We all need to do our part to grow and serve the local church, so it might be that your gifting is bringing food and fellowship to those in need, or helping to raise money for the mission teams, or making sure the sound runs on a Sunday, or a countless number of other areas that you are gifted in. If you are not serving in your local church, I challenge you to get involved, seek the Lord and ask him to show you where you can serve.
Carrying one another’s burdens
Our Christian walk is not meant to be alone, we are to carry one another’s burdens. Those burdens look different for each congregation. Some people are dying, divorcing, filing for bankruptcy, or are estranged from their children, while others are celebrating the birth of a precious baby, or a new job or graduating from school. Church is filled with people going through many different things all at one time.
By not participating in fellowship with believers you don’t have the honor to walk with people through their best and worst moments and getting to minister Christ to them. Jesus wept when he found out that Lazarus had died, He wept for the pain Mary felt. We to are to weep, sing, cry, mourn, joyfully celebrate with our fellow brothers and sisters. We are to carry them to the throne of grace when they don’t have words or strength to say it for themselves, or bring meals when they can’t cook, or give money when they have none.
We were made for relationship first with Christ, then with each other and being part of church and sitting next to people lets you see the humanity in them, and lets you see the sorrow in their eyes, and you get to partake their burden with them.
Church is your family
True believers at church are now your brothers and sisters in Christ, because Jesus purchased them with His blood. Christ’s death on the cross has the power to forgive every sin of those who come to Him and with this freedom from sin comes the wonderful promise of eternal life with God and His family forever.
Being born again as a Christian, is not just a personal experience and lifestyle for you and Jesus, you are now part of His family and you’re expected to function as such. Hebrews chapter 10 verse 24-25 says it best, “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
We are called to be the church, if you are not attending a local church you need to find a Biblical church that you can plant yourself in for the long run, to grown and encourage others. You may get hurt as church is messy, but you need to walk together as you seek the Lord and His holiness.
Genevieve Wilson is a happily married home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She is a seminary wife to her amazing husband.
Genevieve Wilson is Canadian. a happily married home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She is a seminary wife to her amazing husband.