What is the importance of a spiritual family? Someone has said, “To begin our Christian life, we must commit ourselves to Jesus Christ; to grow in our Christian life, we must also commit ourselves to other people.” That’s what the church is: a group of people committed to each other because of Christ.
Together let us consider five reasons why it is important to be a committed part of a church family.
I. WE MEET CHRIST IN A SPECIAL WAY IN CORPORATE WORSHIP.
In Matthew 18:20, we read these familiar words: “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Jesus is present when believers are gathered together. Kent Hughes writes, “It is true that one does not have to go to church to be a Christian. He does not have to go home to be married either. But in both cases, if he does not, he will have a very poor relationship” (commentary on Hebrews).
II. THE CHURCH GIVES US THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW OUR LOVE TO GOD.
A little old man was seen walking to church every Sabbath morning. He was deaf, so he could not hear the sermon, the music of the choir, or the hymns sung by the congregation. A scoffer asked, “Why do you spend your Sabbath in that church when you can’t hear a word?” He replied, “I want my neighbors to know which side I’m on!”
Our involvement in a local church gives us the opportunity to demonstrate our love for God, and it shows where our devotion lies in at least two ways:
By our commitment to weekly worship. We give our time to activities that are most important to us. When we make our weekly meeting with God a priority in our schedule, we demonstrate the Lord’s importance in our lives.
We demonstrate our love through our giving. In the book of Malachi, God asks a penetrating question (read Mal. 4:8-10). In this passage, the people are charged with robbing God. Why? Be cause they are not giving God ten percent of their income as He instructed them to do.
The church gives us the opportunity to show our love for God in a tangible way through our attendance, our service, and our giving.
III. THE CHURCH IS WHERE WE FIND STRENGTH DURING DIFFICULT TIMES.
In Hebrews 10:24, 25, Paul talks about the difficulty of our spiritual walk and the necessity of persevering in our faith, and he gives us practical help. He tells us not to stop meeting together. Why? Because he knows we are more susceptible to falling when we are alone. We draw strength from one another. In gathering with members, we find sympathy, encouragement, accountability, and wise counsel. We strengthen each other by our presence.
IV. THE CHURCH IS WHERE WE FIND WHOLENESS.
In Romans 12:3, 4, Paul’s point is clear: we are incomplete when we are in isolation, and we are whole when we are together. God designed the Christian community to be interdependent. We cannot manage on our own. God has not given all His gifts and abilities only to one person; talents are spread among the group. We need each other to be complete.
V. THE CHURCH IS A LABORATORY FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING.
ou might be able to learn about hope and peace by yourself, but you cannot learn about love in isolation. In solitude, we can’t learn how to forgive, how to deal with anger, or how to be compassionate. To learn these things, we need to be around other people. The church also gives us a community of people to “practice on” (1 John 3:16- 18).
These five points remind us of the importance of being united as a church family. If we want to grow and maintain our spiritual health, the church can help us. If we need support in difficult times, we also can find it in the church.
How can we strengthen our personal involvement in the church? We need to be more involved in the church. We need the church, and the church needs us. We also need to take our role as church members seriously. As church members, are we doing enough?
The church is the people who have been irrevocably changed by God and who have joined together to bring honor o Him. May God help us grow, and may He be honored in all that we do.
General Conference Ministerial Association
"There is, I am sorry to say, a great want of earnestness and interest in spiritual things on the part of the heads of many families. There are some who are seldom found in the house of worship. They make one excuse, then another, and still another, for their absence; but the real reason is that their hearts are not religiously inclined. A spirit of devotion is not cultivated in the family."
Ellen G. White - Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 425