“Why do I need to go to church?” That was the question my younger sister asked me as she was grappling with her faith. Although she saw the benefit of a relationship with God, she was having problems with the institution of church. I know my sister is not alone in her quandary.
We live in a competitive and individualistic world, but human beings have an inherent need to belong. Loneliness is a terrible affliction. The church is meant to be a community of support that loves and accepts us as we are. Of course, it doesn’t always do that, as it is full of flaws because people are imperfect. However, disconnecting ourselves from church is less faithful than connecting through a flawed community. Plus, as hard as it is to accept, church community isn’t just about getting our needs met but meeting the needs of others.
We learn love, patience, service, and so many lessons not in isolation but in community. We need community to keep us honest, open-minded, and to challenge our ideas. We need community to practice forgiveness, make us better, and keep us humble.
The church is a giant source of goodness in this world; it unites us together to do God’s work. We need all sorts of talents working together to impact the atrocities of our day and bring hope to those who have none.
Beautiful and radical grace flows from the heart of God to His broken humanity through the church. That God would choose broken people to teach us about Himself and knit our hearts together is amazing.
We did not invent church, God did, and He tells us in Hebrews 10:24-25, “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.”