Monday, February 18, 2013

7 Reasons Why I Need Church

Authors Janet Chester Bly & Stephen Bly in front of Idaho Winchester Community Church
Janet & Stephen Bly
 Do I Need Church?
Can't a Christian Make It Alone?
Stephen Bly

Copyright 1981

Why can't I worship God in the comfort of my home, enjoying the best preaching and music the media has to offer?

Author Stephen Bly at beach
Stephen Bly at beach

Why can't I just enjoy being alone out in the woods--just God and me and pine trees?

Why can't I meet God at the water's edge, wiggling my toes in the warm sand surrounded by thousands of sun worshippers?

Do I really need church? If so, why?

Author Stephen Bly as pastor of Idaho Winchester Community Church
Stephen Bly with church family

1.) I need church because it's a family reunion. Jesus said, "Who is My family? Those who do My will" (Mark 3:33,35). We are a family--rejoicing with, crying with and helping one another. We need each other's support.

2.) I need church because it's a classroom. I'm preparing for a mission. I'm on an extended course of study. For the rest of my life I'm enrolled in a course of Christian discipleship. Each week builds on the one before.

3.) I need church because it's a refuge. The sanctuary is a place to get away from the busyness of the world. It's a mini-retreat. It's a place to focus my thoughts on things above, to worship.

4.) I need church because it's like a billboard. As my neighbors see me go down to that building on the corner week after week, they can tell what is important in my life. If all my brothers and sisters are there too, the neighbors may wonder what is going on that attracts people there.

Jesus Christ dying on the cross

5.) I need church because it's a memorial service. Imagine that I had been in a war and one of my buddies threw himself on an enemy hand grenade to save me--and it killed him. Suppose I learned there was to be a memorial service for him in my hometown. Would I be there? Of course!

Jesus Christ resurrection from the dead

6.) I need church because it's a victory celebration. Jesus left an empty tomb. We can celebrate His resurrection together--and not just at Easter. At least one day a week is set aside for remembering Jesus' triumph over death and Satan.

7.) I need church because it's a time to spend with my Father. I'm a child of God. As my Father, He's not cold and aloof. He delights in spending time with me, and I want to be with Him. God wants to reveal His plans to me. And I want to get in on the details, to cooperate with Him.

But He's not only my Father; He's our Father. And Christ is not just my Savior; He's our Savior. Jesus said that when two or three are gathered together in His name, He is there (Matthew 18:20). And God has warned me not to forsake gathering with other believers (Hebrews 10:25).

I need church because I'm part of a family. I have lots to learn. And I need a retreat. I know what my priorities are. I respect Christ's death on my behalf and am overjoyed by His resurrection. I want to spend time with my Father and other believers.

Jesus in heaven welcoming believer to his home
That's why I need church!



Available for free: If you would like a printed tract of this message to share with others, email janet(at)blybooks(dot)com with your address and how many you need.


csthankful said...

All are reasons I can't wait to go each week. Thanks much.

Cathlene said...

Just finished "Cowboy for a Rainy Afternoon" and was enchanted! It was delightful. My husband and I have discovered his books and are recommending them to everyone!Thanks for the gentle, winsome Christian witness.