The local church is the primary place we should "spur one another on toward love and good deeds." How do we do that? By praying for each other (Ephesians 6:18), encouraging each other (1 Thessalonians 5:11) and using our spiritual gifts to build each other up (1 Peter 4:10,11.)
The local church is where we can serve others but it's also a place we can be served and encouraged. Verse 25 of Hebrews 10 lays out why we should go to church. It's so we can "encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."
I'll never forget when I was a pastor of a local church in Arvada, Colorado. Although I was the preaching pastor I was having trouble in my marriage. It took a meltdown in a Bible study twenty something years ago to get it all out in the open and, as humiliating as it was, it saved our marriage. The church members came around my wife and me and supported us through that challenging time. The church saved my marriage.
We need encouragement, accountability and an outlet to serve others. The local church provides this like nothing else can!
3. We must be under the spiritual authority of leaders in a local church to guard our lives and theology.
"Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep
Those Christians who live like Lone Rangers when it comes to their spirituality are in danger of getting shot in the wild, wild west of the world system. We must not live like rogues, refusing to put ourselves under the spiritual authority of a local church. We need encouragement but we also need accountability. And this is the reason God set up spiritual leaders in the church, to keep us on track.
Paul wrote about the need to establish spiritual elders in every local church that they had planted together. According to the Apostle these elders "...must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." In other
I've heard people say, "I don't need a local church. I have a group of Christians I meet with on a regular basis and that is my church." But, according to the Apostle, it's not technically a local church until elders are in place. That's why Paul wrote in Titus 1:5, "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you."
Qualified, godly, Spirit-appointed church leaders (not just a group of Christians that meet together regularly) are necessary for a church to be considered a "real" church. And we must be willing to submit to these spiritual leaders.
4. Our support of the local church advances the gospel locally and globally.
"In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace." Colossians 1:6
How did the people of Colossae hear the gospel? Through a church plant! How were people across the world hearing the gospel? Through church plants!
From Century numero uno A.D. the spread of the gospel message has been primarily through churches being planted and
Again, the church is God's Plan A. There is no Plan B!
And remember, I'm writing this as the Founder of Dare 2 Share, a para-church
I don't view our ministry in any way as a competition with the local church. Our role is to wash the feet of the Bride of Christ, strap on her boots of readiness, put the sword of the Spirit in her hand, turn her toward the battlefield and gently push.
Our greatest accomplishment will be the day that the mission of the church was so effectively
So please don't give up on the church!
We are commanded to support her with our time, talent and treasure! We must help her be all that she can be. Stop looking for the perfect church (because there are none!) and start getting involved in a good, local congregation. If there are problems (and there will be) then become part of the solution. If there's brokenness (and there is) then bring healing. If there's legalism (which there may be) bring grace.
This is the very
This article was written by Greg Stier and originally appeared at his blog. Find it here.
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