Perhaps you find the title a bit dramatic, but I use the term “live” in the title on purpose, and not as a hyperbole. I may be able to “live” in a physical sense without the church, but without it, I would not be able to thrive. And what is living without thriving?
Here are a few reasons why I can’t live without the church:
1. I am prideful. I think I can do everything on my own. Being a part of a church reminds me that in fact I can’t do everything and I shouldn’t try. I need others.
2. I am sinful. The church helps to remind me of my own sin and points me to Christ. On my own, I am much more likely to think I’m doing just fine.
3. I am an individual. I tend to think I stand alone, particularly as a single woman. But the church reminds me to reject American individualism and embrace that I am a part of something much bigger than myself, and my greatest identity is not in “me.”
4. I am a single woman living alone. I need a family where I can serve and rub up against (Proverbs 27:17). Living alone, it’s super easy to believe that everything is all about me.
5. I am gifted. God has giving me gifts not for me to hoard them and think I’m super awesome, but to use them to bless others.
6.I’m a 21st Century American. I have many of the blind spots, influences, and weaknesses of the culture around me. Through the church I interact with others of different ages and cultures. These interactions help reveal my own biases.
7. I need the Word. Yes, I can read, study, memorize, and hear the Bible on my own. I can listen to sermons online, on the radio, and on television. But doing these things alone allows me to perpetuate my own false ideas about the text, as I can read and listen to what I choose.
8. I need the Holy Spirit. Yes, I believe the Holy Spirit lives within me and can and does guide me. But He also lives within other believers and if I’m not interacting with them in a non-superficial way, then I’m not allowing the Holy Spirit full access to my life.
9. Others need me. Not because I’m special or so great, but because God designed His church so that we each have role, and if we aren’t there to fill it, it will go unfilled or become an extra burden on someone else.
I could go on, but I want to publish this post. What other things should I add?
A year ago today: With Prince Charming or Not