I pulled into church on Sunday morning, and it was like a breath of fresh air. Did we have some craziness leading up to that point? Definitely. My kids like to play with deodorant and cologne for some reason while I’m trying to fix my hair. But that’s not the point. The point is, we pulled into the parking lot, and it was like life being breathed into my bones.
It’s that lovely time of year for sickness, which means that I’ve had to stay at home from church with sick babies a lot lately. If anything, these few weeks of missing church has affirmed this- WE NEED THE LOCAL CHURCH. Christians, it is SO important that we are plugged in to a local body of believers. Does going to church make you a Christian? No. Believing in Jesus’ work on the cross to forgive you of your sins and in His resurrection is the only thing saves you. But a love for and involvement with the local church is crucial for believers.
I’m so thankful that Jesus meets me where I’m at, and He’s been so sweet to do this these past few weeks. That private, one on one time with Jesus is such an important aspect of our relationship with Him. But we are not an island. Jesus didn’t create us to keep this relationship to ourselves. He created us to live in community with one another, and part of walking in His way is being plugged in with a local body of believers.
And to clarify, I’m not talking about watching a service online. This is a great resource for those who can’t make it to their local body, but for those who are physically able, being in your church is so vital. I’m also not just talking about just warming your pew on Sunday mornings. I’m talking about being plugged in, engaged, involved.
You see, you need the local church. You need believers around you to encourage you when you’re in a rough season. You need believers around you to celebrate with you when you’re on the mountaintop. You need believers that are ahead of you in life so that they can teach you by their example and with their words how to be a godly wife, mom, etc. You need people that you are ahead of in life that you’re pouring in to. You need to sit under preaching of the Word. You need to join in with your congregation in singing praises to our Savior. You need people around you that challenge you to be more like Jesus.
Not only do you need the local church, but the local church needs you. At your salvation, the Lord gifted you in unique ways to glorify Him. These gifts that He gave you were given to you to edify the body of believers for His glory. You and the church are missing out on so much if you’re not using your gifts.
Will your church be perfect? No. Not at all. As much as the people in your church love the Lord, they are still sinners. That’s another great thing about the local church- it gives us an opportunity to extend and receive grace. You’ll mess up, and others will mess up, but the beautiful thing about Jesus is that He can redeem our messes. What a testimony to the world!
It was so good to be back with my local body of believers on Sunday. It was sweet to my soul to be greeted by people that have become like family to us, to be taught from the Word of God, and to be led to the throne of God through congregational singing. I’m not sure where you are, but we have so many churches in our area doing great things for the Kingdom. Praise God for that! This post is not just a long way for me to invite you to our church (we’d love to have you), but it’s a long way to invite you to any local, Bible-believing church. Or maybe it’s a long way to encourage you to be more plugged in wherever you already are. Either way, don’t neglect the command and the gift of gathering together that the Lord has given. Let the Lord use your local church to give you a breath of fresh air.
Oh, and church isn’t just necessary for you, but it’s necessary for your kids too (read more on that here). Our 3 year old’s face lit up Sunday morning when we told him that he got to go to Sunday school. Let your love for the local church light your face up. Let that love overflow to your kids (& their love will probably make you love it even more too).