As people come out of Mormonism or any other faith tradition into historic Christianity, a big part of that is choosing a church. It can be very confusing to know where to start in that process. First of all, consider four reasons why it is important to connect with a church body on your journey to faith.
Choose a Church Because Commitment Helps Us Grow
In life, it can be hard to accomplish something important when we’re doing it by ourselves. But when we work with other people, we can succeed. That’s true in spiritual life as well. Others can hold us accountable, give us a valuable outside perspective, and encourage us along the way.
Ephesians 4:15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
This verse points out two key elements of spiritual growth: love and truth. Love is impossible without relationships. Loving relationships help us grasp and apply truth. All of this happens in a church community.
[Related: Private Faith vs Church]
Choose a Church Because You Have Something to Offer
God doesn’t just give a few people abilities to bless the rest. He has gifted everyone through the Holy Spirit to build others (1 Corinthians 12:7). Those who don’t choose a church not only stunt their own growth, but they hurt others and waste God’s gifting by withholding the potential good they can bring to others.
[Related: I’m a Christian… But Do I Need Church?]
Choose a Church Because God Loves the Church
God loves his church so much that Jesus even died for the church.
Ephesians 5:25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.
If we say we love God, the natural extension of that is that we will love the church. The things that God loves will rub off on us – including his love for the church.
Choose a Church Because the Church is a Picture of Heaven
The church doesn’t always seem very heavenly. It’s easy to discount the church because of all the people have been hurt by the church. The church is simply the collection of God’s people. It was the sins of these people that ultimately led Jesus to the cross. So God knows what it’s like to be hurt by the church. Yet he never stops loving his church.
Even with its faults, the church gives us an important picture of heaven.
Hebrews 12:22-23 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things.
When God’s people gather to worship – wherever they may be – they actually join with the angels of heaven. Because we are united by God’s spirit, spiritually we are before the throne of God, worshiping together in anticipation of a time when we will be physically be united there. So the church’s worship is the closest to heaven we can get on this earth.
Each local church is part of something far greater than itself. That’s just one reason why it is vitally important for people who want to pursue God to find a church home. You can explore this more fully in the book Choosing a Church: A Biblical and Practical Guide.
[External Resource: Choosing a Church: A Biblical and Practical Guide]