The word ‘church’ is used in Scripture in two ways:

  • The whole church, at all times, in all places (Colossians 1:18)
  • The local church, at a particular place (1 Corinthians 1:2).
  • When you are converted you become a member of the true church, the body of Christ. But you need also to link up with a local church. Why?

  • Because you need the teaching and ministry (Acts 2:42)
  • Because you need the fellowship (Acts 2:42-46).
  • You may find help and encouragement from Christian groups outside the church, e.g. Christian organisations at school, university or work. These are good, but they are not a substitute for the church. The church is not instituted by man, but is God’s provision for His people (Ephesians 5:25, 4:11-12).

    A Christian should belong to a local church – worship there, work there, and have fellowship there. This does not mean he never goes to any other church, but he ‘belongs’ in one place. If this does not take place, then the following scriptures are impossible to fulfil – Hebrews 13:17; Acts 14:23; Acts 6:3; Hebrews 10:24-25.

    Do not be what Spurgeon called ‘birds of passage which nest nowhere’. Do not drift from church to church. Belong!

    Which church? Unfortunately, today, all churches are not alike. You need a church that will help you grow as a Christian. You need a church that is seeking to order its life and ministry according to Scripture. You never find in New Testament churches whist drives, jumble sales or dances. You do find:

  • Bible teaching (Acts 2:42)
  • Prayer meetings (Acts 4:23-31)
  • Evangelism (Acts 11:20,21)
  • Find a good church. Worship there. Become a member there. Pray for its ministry. Make your friends there. Take your friends there.

    - Peter Jeffery ‘All Things New – a help for those beginning the Christian life’