• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Do We Need Church

Many people ask why they should attend a church. First thought, selfishly, are the fellowship and friendships! They are there for you and you do life with them, especially if you are in a small group. You share prayer requests so they know what is going on and how to pray for you and you for them. I remember when Mike and I got married at my home church. Mom always said the majority of people will be from your church family and she was right. Mike’s parents were going to a church about an hour from where they lived, and only on Sunday morning. They knew no one and no one knew them. When they saw the camaraderie and the fun we were all having they loved it. They saw how the church family was a church "family". When they went home, they joined a local church that would eventually become their church family.

If you want to grow spiritually, then you must be a part of a congregation of believers. You need to become part of a group of believers, build friendships with them, and become a productive part of that body. Ruth 1: 16, “ But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.A

Ruth married into Naomi’s family. When Ruth became widowed she pledged to remain with Naomi and to join with her people and worship God. At the end of the book of Ruth, we find Naomi with a grandchild, born to Ruth and a kinsman-­redeemer named Boaz, who has married the widow Ruth and taken her mother-in-law Naomi into his household. Hope is restored to this family through God’s provision of extended family members who show his love to one another. Our hope is restored by being part of a church family . While we are not blood related, we are related by the blood of Jesus. The church becomes our community and we were created by God for community. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Just like we go to school and have teachers to teach us, we were never meant to build our relationship with Jesus totally on our own. We need guidance, support and mentors from a Christian community. Ephesians 2: 19, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household…”

You know you belong to God’s family. Being a part of a church family is a gift.

Martin Luther said, “at home, in my own house, there is no warmth or vigor in me, but in the church when the multitude is gathered together, a fire is kindled in my heart and it breaks its way through.” Hebrews 10: 25, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” When I have my devotions, I lead myself. At church, in corporate worship, others lead me. Sometimes when I am doing my own devotion I choose how much of the passage I am going to read. I also don’t interpret it the same as others. Most of the time when I get to church the first song puts me in worship mode. I am ready to receive. Then as others lead I am able to respond. When I hear the whole building singing a song it can bring tears to my eyes. I am in awe of the adoration of so many people. It fills my heart with joy when I worship with others.

I often say church is like exercise. Sometimes you don’t feel like getting up and doing it - you can find every excuse in the book! But, I have never regretted my exercise or going to church. Once it becomes a habit, you just go - no matter the weather, whether you feel like it, whether you have company, whether you stayed up late, whether you have a headache, etc. I have found that when I just don’t feel like going is when I need it the most. Psalm 73: 28, “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” It is good to be near God. The Bible says that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. Ephesians 5: 25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” If He loved the Church enough to die for it, shouldn’t we support and attend it?

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