5. You will share in Christ’s mission in the world.
When Jesus walked the earth, God worked through the physical body of Christ; today he uses his spiritual body. The church is God’s instrument on Earth. We are not just to model God’s love by loving each other; we are to carry it together to the rest of the world.
This is an incredible privilege we have been given together. As members of Christ’s body, we are his hands, his feet, his eyes and his heart. He works through us in the world. We each have a contribution to make.
Paul tells us, “He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing” (Ephesians 2:10 The Message).
6. A church family will help you avoid moral failure.
No one is immune to temptation. Given the right situation, you and I are capable of any sin. God knows this, so he has assigned us as individuals the responsibility of keeping each other on track.
The Bible says, “Encourage one another daily…so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13 NIV).
“Mind your own business” is not a Christian phrase. We are called and commanded to be involved in each other’s lives. If you know someone who is wavering spiritually right now, it is your responsibility to lovingly bring them back into the fellowship.
James tells us, “If you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back” (James 5:19 The Message).
A related benefit of a local church is that it also provides the spiritual protection of godly leaders. God gives shepherd leaders the responsibility to guard, protect, defend, and care for the spiritual welfare of his flock. We are told, “Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God” (Hebrews 13:17 NLT).
Satan loves detached believers—unplugged from the life of the body, isolated from God’s family and unaccountable to spiritual leaders—because he knows they are defenseless and powerless against his tactics. The Christian life is more than just commitment to Christ; it includes a commitment to other Christians.
We must remind those who fill our buildings each weekend that joining the membership of a local church is the natural next step once they become a child of God. You become a Christian by committing yourself to Christ, but you become a church member by committing yourself to a specific group of believers. The first decision brings salvation; the second brings fellowship.
This article originally appeared here.