The church is on a decline in the United States.
There are many reasons why this is the case,and as a church leader, it’s crucial for you to know what factors lead peoplein your community to not participate in the life of your church.
Now, one of the factors contributing to thisdecline in recent years is a growing trend among Christians to undermine theimportance of the local church.
In other words, they believe they can live thelife God has called them to live in Christ without being connected to a localchurch. Unfortunately, this isn’t a great idea, and there are several reasonswhy Christians should be involved with a local church.
#1. Youare a member of the body of Christ
In Christ, you are a member of the body ofChrist (1 Cor. 12:12-14; Eph. 4:1-16).
God never intended for you to live an isolatedlife or an invisible relationship with him. God desires for his body—hischurch—to be a public organization who lives for his glory and the good ofothers (John 17:21-23).
#2. Youare to submit to your church’s leadership
To lead his church, God appoints elders asleaders (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). The leaders of a local church never possessan absolute authority. Whatever authority they have is delegated by God.
What is more, in the Bible, Christians arecommanded to submit to the leaders of their local church (Heb. 13:17; 1 These.5:12-13). The concept of submission has negative connotations, and manyChristians may balk at this assertion, but submitting to the leaders of yourlocal church is good for you, the church, and brings glory to God.
#3. Godworks through the church
Jesus is building his church (Matt. 16:18).
God has chosen to work through the localchurch in making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20), and his work through the churchwill continue until Jesus returns. To participate in God’s work on earth, you mustbe connected with a local church.
#4. Weare to encourage one another
The Bible is full of “one another” commands(59 to be exact). The only place where such commands can thrive is the localchurch.
Yes, you can find encouragement by spendingtime with other Christians. However, if you are choosing who you are or are notspending time with, then you are limiting the body of Christ. The local churchis full of individuals from a myriad of backgrounds and personalities, whichmeans you will be placed in relationships that will challenge you more than thefriends you select to be with.