Why I Need the Church

February 3, 2023

Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. Matthew 16:18 NLT

About a bazillion articles and arguments have been written and advanced on the thought “Why do I need the church since I already have Jesus?” They will keep recycling around in our increasingly independent/isolated age. I have no interest in trying to convince anyone of anything here. I just want to tell you why I need the church.

First, the church was Jesus’ idea, and He said all the powers of hell cannot conquer the Church. He didn’t individualize that—we did. He said hell is powerless against us as a unit, His Church. Anything that gets that kind of endorsement from Someone who actually rose from the dead after a torturous crucifixion, I just go with it. Second, life has shown me I’m lousy as a lone ranger. No matter how much knowledge and good intentions I have, no matter how much I stream, listen to podcasts, watch TV preachers, and read my Bible, I eventually find I need Jesus’ big idea—the Church.

There are so many reasons why I anticipate Sunday and the opportunity to gather at church. One is that I am so much like John the Baptist. John was called and chosen for amazing things. His life was legendary. But when he was under attack, life turned dark. He was in Herod’s prison rotting away. These difficult circumstances caused doubts to plague his mind. If I really am obedient, why are all these things happening? If Jesus really is who I believe Him to be, why is evil succeeding and I am not? He finally sent some of his friends to Jesus to ask Him directly, “Are You the One, or should we look for someone else?”

What a privilege to know Jesus! Jesus didn’t condemn or criticize John for asking. He knew it was John’s faithfulness to God that had gotten him in this place. He understood John’s pain and struggle and the injustice that caused it. He knew that life was so bleak and black in that dungeon that all he could see was evil and pain and sorrow. So Jesus sent the friends back to John with this loving instruction: “Go tell John the good things and the miracles you have heard and seen.”

That’s what they did. When life had dimmed John’s vision, his friends were able to remind him of the truth because of what they had seen. They were able to reassure him that his faith was not in vain. See, that’s me, too. Sometimes life causes me to struggle. Satan whispers in the darkness and I become vulnerable to doubt and fear. When my life has me in a dungeon, I need the eyes and perspectives of my friends. Just being with them I see the truth. I remember the goodness of God. That’s one of the reasons I GO to church. My friends lift my eyes and I see truth and Jesus when things around me have been dark! I need His Church!

  • Life looking cloudy? Dark? GO TO CHURCH. Let the Church be the Church.