And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. (Eph. 4:11–13)
Let me encourage you to dust off your spiritual gifts and employ them with great joy to edify fellow believers in the church, and to reach the lost for Christ.
C.H. Spurgeon once said, “If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all; and the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.”1
It’s vital to understand that there is no perfect church. That’s because every local church is comprised of sinners—redeemed sinners. So don’t be a perennial church shopper. As my seminary professor Chip Stam often reminded the class, “The maturing believer is easily edified.”
God uses each of his children’s gifts in a unique way to fulfill the mission he has for the church as a whole. Make sure that you’re upholding your end of the bargain. After all, a lone-ranger Christian doesn’t make a good witness for Christ. Ultimately, Jesus has redeemed you to be a creature in community—a Christian living out the gospel in covenant with other Christians in a local church.
1 C.H. Spurgeon and Tom Carter, Spurgeon at His Best: Over 2200 Striking Quotations from the World’s Most Exhaustive and Widely-Read Sermon Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1988).
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Editor’s note: This article has been adapted with permission from Being a Christian: How Jesus Redeems All of Life by Jason K. Allen. Copyright 2018, B&H Publishing Group.
This article on church membership originally appeared here.