3 Reasons Why Every Christian Needs the Church

Christians were never meant to live apart from other Christians—we were made to be part of the same community.

It’s common for people to attend a church regularly without officially belonging to that particular church. What this sort of church attendance fails to understand is that all sheep need a shepherd. Jesus is, of course, our ultimate Shepherd, but he leads his sheep through under-shepherds who are specially called to care for his people.

 

When you become a disciple of Jesus, you are not the only disciple in this world. There are others whom Jesus has also called, and we all belong to one another. Christianity is not a religion for those who would like to walk alone.

We may need to make an individual decision to believe the gospel, but once we do, it is no longer “I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 3:20). Christ has a visible body, and he calls it his “church.” Christians were never meant to live apart from other Christians—we were made to be part of the same community.

Here are several reasons why every Christian needs the local church.

1. Every Christian needs spiritual care.

It’s common for people to attend a church regularly without officially belonging to that particular church. What this sort of church attendance fails to understand is that all sheep need a shepherd. Jesus is, of course, our ultimate Shepherd, but he leads his sheep through under-shepherds who are specially called to care for his people.

The biblical warrant for the spiritual care of every Christian comes from the following passage:

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pet. 5:1–5; emphasis mine)

It’s clear from passages like this that God desires every Christian to be under the spiritual care and authority of flesh and blood elders (see also Heb. 13:7). Elders are those whom God has called to shepherd his people, and they are to give an account of their spiritual care to Jesus—the true Shepherd—on the last day.

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