By Nicola Copeland
In the modern world today trying to keep the Christian faith and values can sometimes feel contrary to the society that we live in. However, rather than seeing ourselves as a member of a lonely minority, we should embrace the fact that although we may be few in number, being part of a faithful body of believers can transform our lives and help us (and others) in these difficult times.
The Bible provides numerous verses of inspiration and examples that not only shows us how believers should interact with one another, but also helps us to understand the value of belonging to and interacting with the church family. Here are five reasons why you need to be part of a church family and play an active role:
1. Teamwork & togetherness
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 teaches us the importance of teamwork and togetherness. Modern culture often promotes the self-made and self-reliant lifestyle. However, everyone has had help at some point in their lives and the more we recognise the value of sharing with others the greater our achievements will be. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with being independent or the need to be alone sometimes. God has made us social creatures and therefore being part of a community of believers can provide comfort, friendship and support during the good and bad times.
2. Love for one another
Being part of a church family enables us to be loved and to love others in a way that is different to how love is perceived in a secular society. Love is to be unconditional like Jesus displayed in John 15:12 and in John 13:31-35, where he showed us that a key test of our commitment to him is our love for other believers – not just in words but in attitudes and actions.
3. Teaching & encouraging
One of the key benefits of being part of a church family is the opportunity for encouragement and teaching. Hebrew 10:24 calls believers to ‘consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…” and 2 Timothy 3:16-17 emphasises the importance of teaching each other what God has revealed in Scripture so “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
4. Service to others
Being part of a church family is not just about receiving. There is also value in having the opportunity to help other believers. Serving – whether by providing encouragement, volunteering, teaching a bible study class; or praying with someone – gives us a sense of purpose and fulfilment. Knowing that God has a role for each believer to play in the lives of other believers gives meaning and direction to our lives.
5. Faithful witness
Jesus commanded his disciples to “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Being a member of a church family that displays the above principles of love, will enable you to act as a beacon that points people towards Jesus Christ.