I love the local church. From Acts 2 to Revelation 3, the Bible is about the local church, written to the local church, or written in the context of the local church.
God gave us the local church as his plan A for his mission on earth, and he did not give us a plan B. The local church is just that important.
Please don’t say that the church is the people of God and not a building. Yes, the people of God are the church, but they are commanded to gather (and it’s usually in a building) and to be in fellowship with one another. Don’t use that metaphor as an excuse to skip church.
Please don’t communicate to your children that it’s okay to skip church. To take a break. To participate in Sunday sports. To go on vacation (most vacation spots have churches). They will know where your priority is. They will demonstrate a similar priority in their adolescent and adult years. They will not need the church. They will not need God.
Please don’t use the local church to get your perceived needs met. Your style of music. Your programs. Your ministries. Your schedule.
Please don’t say the church is about sending, not attending. It’s not either/or. It’s both/and. The Bible commands us to send. And the Bible commands us to gather.
Please don’t say you don’t go to church because it’s full of hypocrites. Yes, it is full of hypocrites. We are called sinners. But we are sinners forgiven by Christ’s death on the cross. We are living examples of the power of the gospel. Not perfect. Just perfectly forgiven.
Please don’t use the slightest excuse to skip church. Bad weather. Good weather. Not enough sleep. Too much sleep. Upset stomach. But not too upset to play golf.
Please don’t say that this short missive is legalistic. It is not legalistic. It is biblical. It is about commitment.
I love the metaphor that says clearly we, the church, are the bride of Christ. Read Ephesians 5:25-30. We, the local church, are indeed the bride and Christ is the bridegroom.
And if we are waning in our commitment to the local church, we are waning in our commitment to the marriage between us, the church, and Christ.
Please don’t minimize the importance of the local church.
Please don’t divorce Christ, the bridegroom.
The local church is just that important.
Posted on May 8, 2023
With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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