1) I almost never meet a healthy Christian who isn’t plugged in to a local church.
2) Almost every time I meet someone who claims Christ but is not involved in any local church there turns out to be some fairly noteworthy sin or lack of spiritual growth going on in the person’s life.
The reason that both of these little anecdotal notes make sense to me is that the New Testament doesn’t have much of a category for a Christian doing the Christian life in isolation. It describes us as citizens of a Kingdom, sheep of a flock, members of a body.
Whether we are working to straighten the crooked path of a church like the one in Corinth or being persecuted as part of a faithful church like the one in Smyrna, the New Testament’s panorama of the Christian life shows us we should be serving and being served in local churches.
We should be taking the Lord’s Supper.
We should be seeing unbelievers come to faith and being baptized.
We should be submitting to elders/pastors.
We should be hearing the Word of God preached and taught.
And we should want these things.
And there’s another thing we should desire. If we’ve been born again through faith in Christ, then we’ve been adopted into an eternal family. We will worship with other saints from every tribe and tongue, every skin color and economic stratus and culture, forever and ever and ever. We should want to start having that rhythm in our blood now.
So, we should want to participate in the ordinances of Jesus’ church. We should want to submit to the shepherds within Jesus’ church. We should want to be in meaningful, accountable relationships with the other people who make up Jesus’ church.
We should each want to be a part of a church.
It’s a healthy desire.
And fulfilling that healthy desire helps to produce a healthy Christian.