We all know that sometimes things can be difficult in churches. I’ve gone through it, and so have most of you. I experienced it when I was a pastor for fourteen years, and I’ve experienced it in the twenty-two years since. There have been a few times where I’ve very much wanted to walk away from a local church and just go it on my own, seeking private fellowship with believers here and there.
But the church of the New Testament is NOT just the universal invisible body of Christ. It is actual local gatherings of imperfect people, with imperfect leaders, including elders who teach and lead, where there is actual accountability and yes, when necessary, even discipline—not where people are independent and calling themselves individually "the church." There are many Christ-loving church families scattered around this country and around the world. None that are perfect, many that are seeking to honor Christ. Despite your past bad experiences, I encourage you to not give up on local churches, but to find one and give yourself to serving to help make it become more Christ-centered.
David Powlison speaks about why we need the local church. This seven minute video is well worth it:
On a related note: if you would like a church recommendation for your area, please call our EPM office at (503) 668-5200 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help you. So far this year, we’ve provided 51 church referrals, for people in 23 different states. Each time someone gets plugged into a Bible-believing local church, the potential for them to grow in their faith and impact their surrounding community for Christ is multiplied.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Photo by Ben White via Christianpics.co