I need the church – the community of saints, the body of Christ. I need to spend time with the church. I need to know and be known by the church. I need to identify with the church.
God, in his wisdom, has commanded that I do so but sometimes, in my thick-headedness, I forget that God wants only the best for me. Sometimes I, in my immaturity, need to see the “why” behind God’s command. To see why I need the church.
Here is why I need the church:
I need the church because I am insufficient. I need the church to grow into all that God intends for me. I need the church to learn to extend and receive grace. I need the church to hold me accountable and to help me discover God’s complexity within orthodox theology.
I need the church to help me see Jesus in others. I need the church to remind me of God’s goodness and all-surpassing wisdom. I need the church because I forget.
I need to sit under the public reading of the Bible. I need to worship publicly. I need to fellowship with other followers of Jesus. I need to be a pupil of solid theology and an observer of and participant in the life of faith. I need to learn to extend and receive grace through other people.
In short, I need the church for relationship. My relationship with God, my relationship with the family of God, and my relationship with the whole of humanity and all of creation.