Why should I get involved with a local Church?
Many people see church as an event to go to on Sundays, but they have a pretty shallow investment. Others have had disappointing experiences with church. The pain or bitterness of what happened causes them to say “Thanks, but no thanks” to church.
I actually see church as a much deeper (and a deepening) thing in my life. I see the flaws and foibles (and even the fights and frustrations) of the local church as sanctifying graces in my life—gifts from God to make me more like Jesus. Before the days of cars, it was much harder to church-hop. If you got mad at the preacher or got upset with the choir director, it was just not that easy to walk ten miles to the next church. So you stuck it out, worked it through, resolved the conflict, and usually became a better person for it.
I think that’s what being a Christian is all about—growing to become like Jesus (Romans 8:28-29). It’s not about getting my way or having things the way I like them (a common misconception in our consumeristic society), but submitting my desires and preferences to what God wants. It is about His kingdom, not mine.
The New Testament never speaks of a lone Christian. God in His wisdom puts us together with other imperfect Christians. I can learn humility by listening to wise counsel. I can learn grace by submitting to flawed leaders. I can learn to love by loving sinful people.
For all its problems, I still think, it’s not just important, it is essential to the Christian life to be a part of the local church. Could I be so bold as to say, I don’t think a person can be what a Christian was meant to be without being a part of a local church.
Pastor Steve Mann