Do You Need a Local Church?
June 8, 2022
Do You Need a Local Church?
There seems to be a lack of understanding among some today of the local church and its importance.
There are groups of believers that have splintered off from church and are ministering to people in the streets, getting them saved, and then baptizing them right there. I applaud the evangelistic zeal they show.
But, who are the people who are discipling those that come to the Lord? Where is the shepherding ministry of a pastor? Where is the gift of teaching so necessary for spiritual development?
There are splinter groups being led by all kinds of people, calling themselves apostles, prophets, and such. Are they involved in a local church?
Is there a place for a church in the community? Is a local church necessary in the life of a believer?
What is a church supposed to do?
What is its role?
Are all churches called to do the same thing?
What is a biblical church, and what does it look like?
Are all churches supposed to be small house churches?
Is there supposed to be a pastor overseeing a local church?
Can anyone be a pastor?
The Church is something that Jesus is building!
Matthew 16:13-19 (NKJV)
When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Ephesians 4:1-16 (NLT)
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. 7 However, He has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. 8 That is why the Scriptures say, “When He ascended to the heights, He led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” 9 Notice that it says “He ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. 10 And the same One who descended is the One who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that He might fill the entire universe with Himself. 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
1 Peter 5:1-4 (TPT)
Now, I encourage you as an elder, an eyewitness of the sufferings of Christ, and one who shares in the glory that is about to be unveiled. I urge my fellow elders among you 2 to be compassionate shepherds who tenderly care for God’s flock and who feed them well, for you have the responsibility to guide, protect, and oversee. Consider it a joyous pleasure and not merely a religious duty. Lead from the heart under God’s leadership—not as a way to gain finances dishonestly but as a way to eagerly and cheerfully serve. 3 Don’t be controlling tyrants but lead others by your beautiful examples to the flock. 4 And when the Shepherd-King appears, you will win the victor’s crown of glory that never fades away.
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 (NKJV)
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
Here are 10 things that are important to know about church life:
1. The church is Jesus’ personal work. He oversees and communes with each individual part. The church is not a human organization; it’s a spiritual organization. It grows as we all obey Jesus.
2. Local churches have different flavors. They are like restaurants. No two are exactly alike.
3. Churches are not perfect, because people are not perfect.
4. There are two churches: the universal church worldwide, and the local church. Some members are in heaven, and others are on earth.
Ephesians 3:14-15 (NKJV)
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named
5. The local church is a visible representation of the church of Jesus Christ worldwide.
6. Jesus wants every believer to be a part of a local church. You don’t choose your local church. Jesus deals with you deeply inside as to where you should go.
7. It is not possible to develop spiritually as you should without on-site involvement in a local church. Meeting and working with people who are unlike you helps develop the love of God in your life. And, there is really no spiritual growth without growth in love.
So, if you find people in your church not like you, it means the Father deeply loves you and has put you into a potential environment of growth!
8. Jesus appoints pastors or shepherds to local churches. These people have His heart for His people and have the ministry of a shepherd to sheep. His responsibility is for the spiritual care and oversight of each person.
9. God’s work on earth today centers around the local church.
10. The local church is a training ground for all ministry.
- How can we expect to win people to Jesus and help them if we are not a part of a vibrant church?
- Do you see the local church as a place that is in the center of your spiritual life?
- Do you actively seek to make sure your family is involved in a local church?
- Are you actively involved in a local church? Do you make yourself available?