Need Church?

Is the church really necessary for a follower of Jesus?  Can we not simply follow Jesus on our own?  I’m told that Winston Churchill said he related to the church like a flying buttress: he supported it from the outside.  “But, I get nothing out of church,” is the often heard refrain. Add to this the fact that some of us have been burned in churches.  We’ve been betrayed in relationships at church, and hurt there.   Philip Yancey asks,  The church: why bother? C. S. Lewis struggled with being a part of the church, and he found great difficulty worshiping there.  He remarked:

I disliked very much their hymns, which I considered to be fifth rate poems set to sixth-rate music.  But as I went on I saw the great merit of it…. I realized that the hymns were nevertheless, being sung with devotion and benefit by an old saint in elastic-side boots in the opposite pew, and then you realize that you aren’t fit to clean those boots.  It gets you out of your solitary conceit.

Going to church swept Lewis into a community he could see he needed. He confessed his own conceit and need to be with others who could put him and his life into perspective.  This is one of many reasons Jesus told his followers to gather together, to share their lives with each other, and not to live solitary.  Researchers tell us that loneliness is an American epidemic.  Modern life has not drawn people together, but instead has fragmented our communities and even our families.  We desperately need community.  But, this isn’t the only reason we need the church.  We were created by God for community.  God, who himself lives in the community of the Trinity, made us in his image.  He made us for himself, and for each other. As flawed as the church may be, what God tells us is that we need his community to be whole.

He tells us that the church provides us with a sense of identity as the people of God.  The way we identify with him is by being part of his church.

9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2

Now through Christ we have an identity.  We are now a people together!

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on January 7, 2017 at 2:43 am

    This bears repeating, as we embark on our church vision & emphasis on community in these next years……


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