Why Christians Need the Church
by Jay Lowder, founder of Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries
Romans 10:9-10 tells us, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “You don't have to go to church to be a Christian!”
While this statement is completely true, it is also somewhat misleading.
The Bible never mentions that walking in the door of a church or becoming a member is a requirement for salvation. However, without the Church, a follower of Christ will be severely handicapped.
Parents tell their children that in order to hone or develop a gift or craft, they must learn from others who are more experienced and who can help them become better. Kids are instructed that if they want to excel even further, it would be wise to go to college to get a higher education.
Read the success story of any successful athlete, musician, artist or business man or woman, and you will find an element of education, team-work, coaching and mentorship in their past. Most of these people already have incredible talent, but all of them understood that for them to achieve elite status they would need the help of others.
For most, this concept isn’t rocket science yet again and again, there is still one area of life where they neglect to implement this principle – the Church.
Throughout Scripture, we are reminded of the importance of the Church and fellowship with other believers. In Acts 2:42, we see how Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
People need the Church to help them grow and mature. They also need the community of others who have the same passions and experiences. These relationships feed off of one another to help encourage, challenge, and grow one another.
So, no, you don't have to go to Church to have a relationship with Jesus, but you do need to go to church if you're serious about making it stronger.
Jay Lowder is a full-time evangelist and founder of Jay Lowder Harvest Ministriesand author of “Midnight in Aisle 7.” Follow him on Twitter at @jaylowder or @jlhministries.
Intersecting Faith & Life: If you've been out of church for a while, are frustrated with people in the church, or even if you've been hurt by the church don't let that hold you back this weekend. Go to church this Sunday or try a new church knowing that the church is filled with sinners trying to grow in God's grace.