I come in contact with many people who tell me they are Christian yet they are not connected to a church. There are many reasons why a Christian may become UnChurched, it could be that they are new to the area or their former church has closed and they have simply not found a church to connect with. Sometimes a person becomes disillusioned with the doctrine of their last church, I have many friends raised Roman Catholic that have fallen away from the church because of difficult internal church problems and conflicting beliefs. I was one of those lost Roman Catholics for a long time.
When I talk with the UnChurched, whether they be friend, family or stranger the most common response I hear when asking why are you not attending church regularly is: “I do not have to go to a church to be connected with God.”
They are absolutely right, when we limit our thinking of a church to a building. You do not need to go into a church-building to be connected with God, when the Apostle Paul addressed the Council in Athens he said, “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temple” Acts 17:24 (NLT). God is present everywhere, just look around you – to witness the beauty of nature is to see the face of God.
Christians are part of the Universal Church. Once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior you become part of the great body of Christ, there are no earthly congregations for this church because living in Christ is about what occurs inside each of us and not by how we worship.
Going into a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going into a barn makes you a cow.
However, when we look at the church as not just a building but a collection of believers we begin to see very important reasons that we MUST connect all Christians to a local church.
Look at what Jesus said to us when He gave the Great Commission, “… I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you…” – Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT). When we bring new people to Christ, we need a place to bring them to – the gathered church is commissioned to worship God. The church also provides us with qualified spiritual leaders to teach the Word of God and help us to live by the commands in order to be more Christ-like.
I know that a local church can fall victim to the failures of imperfect people but this is yet another reason that all Christians must return to the church, we must support each other within the church! “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. ” – Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT). I find it very helpful to gather weekly with like-minded people, together we share our faith in song and fellowship in order to support and strengthen each other to walk with God throughout the coming week.
As Christians we must deliver the message of salvation to everyone and that requires each of us to hold our faith high and proudly display how we have been changed by the Cross. When we stop attending church regularly, we are watering down our faith. We are trying to live by our own rules instead of God’s will.
If you have been away from your church for sometime make a commitment to return this week, I am sure that you have been missed, especially by God himself. If you are a Christian and you are UnChurched, I invite you to join me and my faithful-family at Levittown Christian Church this Sunday! We want to walk with you and help you grow in faith.