This is a great article by Dave on the Rethink blog about the importance of the local assembly of believers, and why it is so important that we be part of it. His perspective is that one one who had given up on the local church, but is now back. Blessings and enjoy!
Last summer I wrote a blog titled, “Faith in Recovery: Are Traditional Faith Communities Necessary?”. At the time I had left the Church and the Christian faith for a variety of reasons, but most of the reasons involved seeing hypocrisy in the Church and being hurt again and again by Christians. A year later, I have found myself exploring a faith community once again in a local church in St. Louis, Missouri, and I am identifying again with the Christian faith. I am a Christ follower, or at least I try to be. Last summer I made the argument that traditional faith communities or churches are no longer necessary and neither is meeting corporately for worship. Over my years in church, as a member and a leader, I have seen churches become buildings over people, businesses to be run, and I saw them become disengaged from both the culture and their congregants. The Church I saw was not what I think Jesus envisioned during the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), nor was it relevant to my life or my friends who are non-believers. I am not here today to criticize the Church or argue against traditional faith communities once again, but instead, I am here to invite you to rethink church and how we as Christians are the Church.
Rethinking church begins by reexamining ourselves. After all, we (all who claim to be Christ followers), are the Church. What does it to mean to reexamine ourselves? 2 Corinthians 13:5 gives us an idea about that. I often ask myself, am I the kind of person that I would want in a church? Or, do I represent Jesus well? Would my friends see Jesus in me? With that comes accountability. It is one thing for me to think I am representing Jesus well, but it is another thing for others to think that and hold me accountable to scripture with others in community. One reason I think traditional faith communities matter is because we are called to be accountable to one another and carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). We are also called to share meals together, in particular the Lord’s Supper, praise God together and help others in the community who are in need (Acts 2:42-47). It is very difficult to do this outside of a traditional faith community. I think it is okay and even sometimes necessary to reimagine what a traditional faith community looks like and where and when it meets. I have no problem with a church meeting in a school, home, or even a bar, but it does matter that we meet together for worship, teaching and the Lord’s Supper…..Read the Rest of the post here: Why Church Matters