More and more I am coming upon Christians who say they do not go to church, rather, they just meet God on their own. As I am sure you have picked up from earlier blogs, I strongly believe that daily times in the Word and prayer are essential. But fellowship with the Body of Christ is also extremely important. Perhaps you have been deeply hurt in the church. I hear many sad stories of people being wounded by leaders or members in their churches. This greatly grieves the Lord. However, this is not a reason to avoid fellowship with the body of Christ. After Christ ascended into heaven and the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit, the book of Acts says:
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who are being saved”
- Acts 2:46-47
This was a foundational time for the church. Verse 42 says: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Being in community was a critical component of the growth of the early church. This is an essential element that God uses to enable us to individually grow, people to come to saving faith, and the church to bring glory to His name.
Though the Scriptures clearly teach us that we are to be a part of a local church, anytime we gather with other believers, we can share in sweet fellowship. It is easy to “come and go” in a church and no one knows how we are really doing. Ask the Lord to lead you to someone or a small group of believers with whom you can weekly share what is going on in your life and pray. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16). You may want to ask someone to mentor you in an area that is new for you or you are still growing in (marriage, parenting, your new life in Christ, ministry skills, etc.). Or if you are older in the Lord, you may want to find a friend of the same maturity in which you can build one another up through the Word, sharing, and prayer. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
-Sue Corl (excerpt from her Devotional More Beautiful by the Day)