The Church: Who Needs It?

Since before I can remember I’ve been closely associated with the church. I am now 70. I’m so thankful that my parents taught me to love and appreciate the church. The church was their life, and is mine as well.

While being actively involved in the church can sometimes be painfully difficult, I would hate to think what life would be without it. The positives far outweigh the negatives.

The longer I live, the more obvious it is to me that Christ knew what He was doing when He founded the church (Matthew 16:18).

Christ’s wisdom as seen in His church

Christ brings people together from a wide variety of backgrounds—economically, educationally, culturally, ethnically, etc. (Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:11-22). It’s good when we can learn to love and appreciate people we would otherwise never know. This broadens our horizons and reduces our prejudices.

Christ unifies in His church our various talents and resources to accomplish wonderful things for the good of many, both inside and outside the body of Christ (Acts 11:27-30; Galatians 6:10; 1 Peter 4:10).

Christ intends for us to be mentored by those with more understanding of Scripture and longer experience in dealing with hardships and temptations. We have so much we can learn from one another! (Acts 11:21-26)

Christ provides in the church the help and encouragement we can receive from and provide for one another. Life is hard, but the burden is eased by the mutual fellowship, prayers, hugs, and supportive words of our brothers and sisters in Christ (Galatians 5:13; 6:2; Ephesians 4:29).

So who needs the church?

I know I do.

Do those who think otherwise know what they’re missing?


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Can We Get Along without the Church?

I heard it again last week: “You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.”

Either this is true or false. Which?

Since what we know about being a Christian comes from the New Testament, isn’t that the best resource for learning whether the church is essential?

Check it out!

Although reading the entire New Testament would certainly answer this question, let’s focus on just one book: Acts.

In Acts we read of the church’s beginning in Jerusalem, its spread to other lands, how it was organized, how believers worshiped together, and how the church’s enemies so strongly opposed it.

Ironically, their efforts to stamp out the church served instead to spread and strengthen it (Acts 8:1-4; 11:19-21).

So what do we learn?

If we read Acts with an open mind and a sincere desire to know what we should do regarding the church, what will we find?

“And all those who believed were together . . . . And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:44, 47).

In Acts we find Paul establishing congregations in Western Asia and Eastern Europe. He made sure they were equipped with capable leaders (14:23; 20:17, 28).

Paul urged the Ephesian elders to “shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

Question: If God values the church that much, how valuable should it be to us?


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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Can We Get Along Just as Well Without It?


What if God gave us a choice of plans of salvation? Option A is the church plan. Option B is the non-church plan. In other words, if you want to be a part of the church, fine, but if you’d rather get to heaven without the church, that’s OK too!

But what does the New Testament say? “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body . . .” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

The body is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18, 24). The body is not a union in name only, but a practical, functioning fellowship (Ephesians 4:15-16). This means people worshiping and working together for a common cause.

Just how important is the church? “. . . Christ also is head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body . . . Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:23, 25).

Worth it?

Being a part of the church is both easier and harder. It is harder in that we must work with others who may come from a very different background and who might not be easy to deal with. It is harder in that we have an obligation to help one another (Galatians 6:10).

But being a part of the church is easier than trying to make it alone. The encouragement we receive is worth so much, especially in times of loss or illness. And we can learn so much from one another!

Being a functioning part of the church helps counter our natural self-centeredness (Philippians 2:1-4). It helps us accomplish far more for the Lord than we could possibly do by ourselves, since our talents and resources are combined and coordinated in a marvelous synergism.

When members absent themselves on purpose and no longer participate in the work God has given the church to do, then can they rightly claim to be living within the will of God (Hebrews 10:24-25)?

Is that a viable option?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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When Trouble Comes

Multiple sorrows

A church bulletin made mention of a member who lost her father and uncle, and her mother broke a hip—and all on the same day!

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies,/But in battalions” (Shakespeare, Hamlet).

Though troubles don’t often pile up like this, it certainly can happen.

Abundant help

The bulletin that reported this member’s triple losses stated, “Ann has requested our prayers on their behalf.”

More than once I’ve heard a Christian say during a time of sorrow, “I don’t know what people do who don’t have the church.”

Of all people, Christians are the best equipped for handling adversity. They have the Lord to lean on, His word to comfort, and fellow believers to provide support.

That’s why Ann knew where to turn in time of loss.


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Would You?

Would you become a member of a congregation if:

You must give up your highly prestigious position with all its wealth, power, and comfort?

Those in this congregation occupy the bottom rung socially?

They would constantly criticize you, not appreciating what you sacrificed for them?

And would you:

Believe the sacrifice well worth it?

Refuse to look back longingly to all you gave up?

Endure to the end?

If so,

Shake hands with Moses! You have a lot in common.

“By faith Moses . . . choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26).


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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