And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Heb.10:24-25
The Christian church is not a building, but a body of believers united by their belief in the divinity, resurrection and Messiahship of Jesus Christ. This global followers of Jesus Christ, in bold demonstration of their faith, attend different local bodies across a multitude of denominations around the world. The New Testament word for church "fellowship," is called koinonia, and it simply means being together for mutual benefit (1 Cor.12:12-17.) A good scripture that describes the function of the Church can be found in the Books of the Acts of Apostles.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." In the early church, "day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people" Acts 2:46-47
Church, as a body of Christ, in essence, is created by the all-purposeful God to satisfy great needs in believers’ lives. Some of those needs include:
1. Salvation Centre (that saves your soul & makes you know God - Matt.28:18-20)
Your church is responsible, not only to lead you to Christ but also to ensure that your salvation is maintained to the very end. The Church is a dedicated body that wins, restores and transforms souls. The Church has the major mission of leading sinners to Heavenly Father (John 3:16-17.) Jesus Christ, before ascending to heaven, commissioned His followers to share in His ministry and passion. The primary mission of every local church is to proclaim the joy of salvation and forgiveness of sin to the entire world. All believers, including you, are called to be part of evangelism and discipling of the world (Acts 1:8.)
The Church is a spiritual fellowship, committed to fulfilling the passion of Christ- saving souls!
Saving souls however goes beyond salvation. Saved souls need a place to continue to worship God, share intimacy with Him and His body and be trained to keep the joy of their salvation.
2. Spiritual Family (that protects, provides & preserves your life - Gal. 3:28.)
Church offers you a spiritual family where you can grow in faith and spiritual muscles.
Church unites the whole believers as one in Christ. No more separation or segregation.
The church transcends age, gender, race, geography, and socioeconomic lines!
Just like a biological family offers newborn protection, provision, preservation and a safe place to grow does the church offer both new and old members a place of security, safety and solid provisions for all social and spiritual needs (Eph. 4:11-16). The same way every part of a body belongs together is a church member expected to relate and associate with the body permanently. Regular fellowship of believers is an essential attribute of the church. The people of the first church in Jerusalem shared their daily lives together. “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 favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:46–47).”
3. Sanctification Centre (that keeps you victorious over sinful lifestyle -1 Cor.6:11)
No other human institution can help you to grow in faith and personal relationship with God, like your church (2 Peter 1:2-4.) The Church is a house of faith where believers gather together to pray, praise and worship the Lord. Church has the duty to transform believers into spiritual beings dedicated to serving God and His purpose in spirit and truth.
Through a consecrated life, the Holy Spirit takes over the life of a believer and daily helps it to walk and work for the Lord from one level of dedication to another.
The church offers an atmosphere of faith to practice faithfulness in the things of the Lord.
It nurtures and edifies believers and empowers them to reach out to a suffering world with the saving message of the gospel and a practical demonstration of God's love and compassion.
4. Support Centre ( that sees you through good and bad time - Romans 12:15-18)
The Church, as a body of the faithful,’’ provides you faith-enhancing assistance and companionship. Your church is there to support you in every area of life. Enjoy it as your home.
Stop struggling and fighting alone when you can enjoy the synergy of power with other believers.
Fellowship with other believers easily stirs up your faith in God and love for other people.
The Greek word “koinonia“, can be translated to friendship or sharing in a partnership.
In the very first church (Acts of Apostles), the believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).
The church is a place to share life together - in good time and in a bad time. You do not need to suffer or struggle alone ( Leviticus 26:8; Deuteronomy 32:30; Matthew 18:19.)
We all need somebody to lean on, from time to time. The Church does not only offer members strong friendship, deep fellowship and healthy environment for growth but also testifies to the whole world that believers are true disciples of Jesus Christ (John 13:34-35.) The way God gave His life for us because he loves us ought us to lay down our lives for our brethren (1 John 3.16.)
5. Spiritual School (that helps you grow mature - Ephesians 4:11-15)
The Church trains the saints of Christ in spiritual maturity, authority and responsibility.
Everything a believer needs to grow up is already deposited in the congregation. The church is a spiritual training centre where a believer can study and be approved (2 Tim.2:15.)
It takes spiritual knowledge to withstand false prophets disguising in sheep clothing though inside they are mere wolves cheaply feeding on ignorant believers that are easily blown around by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in deceitful scheming. Only a well-trained believer is stable amidst the evil waves that are blowing against the present-day church. A word-based church is able to groom members to speak the truth in love till the congregation grow to become in every respect the mature body of Jesus Christ who is the head. Each of us has important gifts and lessons to impart to one another.
When we come together in fellowship, we teach and impact each other.
6. Social Mission (that equips you to serve other people & make difference - Matt.5:13-16)
God expects you to participate wholly in the social mission of your church. As a part of the body, you should be involved in the activity of the body and not live on the efforts of others like a parasite. As light bearer for God, the church is called to shine her light to the darkness of the world. As salt, church missions must focus on preserving the world from moral decay.
The Church is to send well trained and highly empowered believers to reform their areas of influence with kingdom principles. We need to start seeing ourselves as ambassadors of God on earth. Every believer is born to be an Apostle in the Marketplace. No one can reach your area of study, business or profession like you. Your colleagues, associates and partners are more likely to be moved by your personal testimony than that of any other person. You have access to them more than any minister of the gospel. Every believer should be involved in one mission or the other within or outside our nation. That charity, however, must begin at home among your immediate contacts and present business partners. Information technology and modern transportation and political relationship among many nations have brought the entire world closer to your doorstep. Many of the social missions can be done in your street now and any foreigner you impact today can carry the gospel back to his or her nation tomorrow.
7. Supernatural Body (that offers you miraculous intervention - Ephesians 4:15-16)
Church serves a supernatural house where God performs a miracle.
Your local church is a place to experience signs and wonders by faith. God is not a respecter of persons. It will be unfair and ungodly to equip one church or tribe or nation or continent more than another. We are all just being limited by the level of faith we operate in. There is equal power for the miracles and the supernatural in every Bible-believing and God-worshipping church. That is because all power belongs to the Lord. Only God answers prayer and only He is in the business of miracle. It is to every church according to their faith. You are the church!
Each of us has been given specific spiritual gifts that when we come together, the power of God can easily be demonstrated in our midst (Matt.18:19-20.) It is like when civilians gather together in the state’s house of assembly, they become powerful legislators who make laws for their people. When believers come together in the name of the Lord, they become house of spiritual power that can bind and loose from the hand of the enemy. Church fellowship enables you to participate in the power ever available in the living Christ (Acts 2:42-47; Acts 5:13.)
8. Small-Group Fellowship ( where you find freedom - Acts 2:46; Acts 5:42)
Your church fellowship is set up to strengthen you (Prov.27:17.) Christians living in developed worlds often take church fellowship for granted while those living in countries intolerant of Christianity like China or Saudi Arabia often risk their lives to share fellowship with other believers. If you just attend Sunday Service but aren’t connected with other Christians during the week, you need to learn to maximise your fellowship! Small groups offer believers platform for socialisation, celebration, recreation, relaxation and spiritual growth. It is easier to live your faith life among a small group that becomes an extended family for you. There, you can easily share intimate and private information. Your small group, within the church serves as your spiritual family, where you are recognised and treated as a member of God’s family. It is a place you are loved, cared for and treasured. Your relationship with your church family, like the one you share in a biological family, is meant to be a lifetime commitment, regardless of any misunderstanding or challenges that may come up. Like in a normal family, most of the crisis situations are meant to offer experience in growth and human relationship. Most of the fruits of the spirit, like patience, love and long-suffering are learnt in such a close relationship.
9. Spiritual Army (that fights the battle of life along your side - 2 Tim.2:3-4)
Your church is meant to serve as the spiritual army of the Lord on earth (2 Chr. 7:14.)
Are you a regular soldier in the Lord's army or you are just an indisciplined visitor?
Though every believer will like to be part of the Lord's army, yet not all are willing to participate in the discipline required to join. The discipline of church attendance makes it a powerful army for the Lord (Heb. 12:2.) Just like it is in the world where civilians love the uniform and the status of a soldier but hardly like to go through the tedious training and recruitment exercises, so it is in the church when it comes to joining the spiritual army. Yet it is not a uniform that sets an army apart but the discipline. It’s a lifestyle of spiritual discipline that sets a victorious church apart from any other human institution. Few believers are willing to undertake regular fasting and prayer discipline not to talk of active participation in outreach, evangelism and spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare is often weighed by churches against evil forces causing hindrance and havoc on earth (Eph.6:12.)
10. Stewardship Platform (to train & serve your purpose - Exodus 23:25-26; Matt.25:15)
Your church is also a place you go to serve your gifts as a way of serving God and fellow mankind. It is childish to expect your church to serve you only. You should have a serious role you are playing in the house of God whoever you are and whatever the level of your status.
King David said he would rather serve as a gatekeeper in the house of God. What about you?
Every man on earth is created for service. Everyone is purposefully created as a solution to an existing problem. Since your value depends on the problem you solve, it is good to invest your life in solving problems. Since charity begins at home, next to your biological family, your church is a place to start serving. Make yourself useful. You become useless whenever you refuse to be used. Your rewards and compensations in life are attached to your valuable service.
New Testament believers are all kings and priests (royal priesthood- Rev.1:6).
Start serving in the house of your Heavenly father. Service is your bridge to greatness.
11. Strength Booster (where unique gift is discovered & developed to skill - John 14:12-14)
The church is a place of strength where the great potential within every man is released.
Great future that awaits every believer in Christ can only be activated after discovery.
A major purpose of your church is to help you discover, develop and deplore your potentials in When a man is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). What a great potential. That revelation is the source of elevation since every believer has a future of greatness in Christ Jesus. As a man thinks so is he. The revelation that the "Greater One" lives in us makes our existence rich. Church fellowship emboldens your faith in the pursuits of God’s promises for your life. Living within the safety wall of the faith family encourages you to take a progressive step from one point of glory to another. 12. Sheperdorial Care (where you are accompanied from birth to death -1 Peter 5:1-3)
Your church is there to offer you sheperdorial care. Every sheep needs a shepherd!
Every believer is expected to live under sheperdorial care from the day of salvation until such transit into eternity (Romans 6.) Every true Christian should not just grow from feeding on the word of God at new birth; such should dwell in the house of the Lord until the last breath.
The Church is a place where God’s flocks are protected and provided for under the cares of the Lord’s under-shepherds (church leaders). It is a place where human destiny is preserved for the glory of God- the chief Shepherd. As you make the Lord your shepherd and seek to live within the protection of His house, may you never be in want of anything. May you continue to live in the abundant supply of the Lord who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly and above all, we may ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
Maximise your Church membership!
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor.2:9 (KJV)
Your church is there to offer you a lifetime companionship right from birth to death.
What a great privilege and asset to belong to a church where you can be loved, supported, challenged, encouraged, pruned, corrected, guided, protected, preserved and provided for.
Going through your journey of life in the midst of your church (made up of other believers) makes your life a great pilgrimage (not tourism) where you live by principles rather than by accident. It attracts the grace of God upon your race. Accountability and discipline you receive insure you from missing your sure destination in Christ. May you never miss what the Lord has provided for those who love Him and who will make it to His presence in the eternity.
A believer’s life is saver under the protection of the Lord and the fellowship of His body.
Sharing fellowship with the body of Christ activates a covenant of peace upon every believer.
Like a tree planted by the riverside, such a believer can say, “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forevermore - Amen (Psalm 23:6.)"