“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 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.” Hebrews 10:24-25
The Bible is pretty direct on it’s call for us to join a local body of believers in church. It’s a reflection of the global body, Christ’s bride which He purchased for Himself. There are some of us who long to find a church, but for whatever reason, have not been able to find one. Then, there are some of us who do not belong simply because the Church has yet to fit our “standard”. Have you refrained from joining a church because it’s not perfect?
The purpose for the Church is to glorify God and to serve others. The Church keeps us accountable and allows us to serve each other with our time. We see the Church body from the book of Acts following this very same model, and this tradition, biblically mandated, continues today (Acts 2:44-47). There’s no indication that this church, nor the ones to follow, were perfect. In fact, leaders and elders are given to us to ensure that members are able to be exhorted and corrected when the time comes (Hebrews 13:17), and we are called to submit to them as they follow that mandate biblically. If there were a perfect church, would our Lord command in His word for there to be overseers?
Matthew 18 gives what to do if a brother or sister in Christ has sinned against you. What did our Lord direct the disciples (and us) to do? Bring it to them, and if they don’t repent, bring it to the church (Matthew 15-17). This isn’t saying bring it to Facebook theology groups. This is saying bring it before the church. Because it may need to be escalated to the leaders. How can one do that if they are not apart of a body? Another depiction is that the church is not perfect, but we serve a perfect God who has given us the tools to correct ourselves.
Charles Spurgeon said, “If I had never joined a Church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all!” If your reason for not joining a church is because it’s not perfect, I would warn you that if you finally find one, it will become tarnished as soon as you step in…because we are all flawed. We are all in need of each other. And more than anything, we are being sanctified. Until the day we step onto the shores of glory, the Church is the taste of heaven we have now. Don’t miss out.
Lord, for the ones who are desperately searching for a local body they can belong to, I ask that You would give them a church home. For those who have refused to submit to a church because of shallow and selfish reasons, I pray You would bring those things to light and allow Your Spirit to guide them to a place You have for them. Let us continue to build Your church, for Your glory and Your namesake. In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have you yet to join a church but perhaps the reasons aren’t exactly right? Reflect on what can be changed about your mindset by God’s word.