Why can't I worship God in the comfort of my home, enjoying the best preaching and music TV has to offer?
Why can't I just enjoy being alone out in the woodsójust God and I and the pine trees?
Why can't I meet God at the water's edge, wiggling my toes in the warm sand?
Why do I really need church?
I need church because it's a family reunion.
Jesus said, "Who is My family? Those who do My will" (see Mark 3:33,35).
We are a familyórejoicing with one another, crying with one another, helping each other. We need each otherís support.
I need church because it's a classroom.
Iím preparing for a mission; Iím on an extended course of study. For the rest of my life Iím enrolled in a course of Christian discipleship.
I need church because it's a refuge.
The sanctuary is a place to get away from the busyness of the world. Itís a mini-retreat. Itís a place to focus my thoughts on things above, to worship.
I need church because it's like a billboard.
As my neighbors see me go down to that building on the corner week after week, they can tell what is important in my life.
If all my brothers and sisters are there too, the neighbors may wonder what is going on that attracts people so regularly.
I need church because it's a memorial service.
Imagine that I had been in a war and one of my buddies threw himself on an enemy hand grenade to save meóand it killed him. Suppose I learned there was to be a memorial service for him in my hometown. Would I be there? Of course! And since Jesus died for me, itís to honor Him that I attend His memorial service. Itís to honor Him that I remember His death by taking communion.
I need church because it's a victory celebration.
Jesus left an empty tomb. We can celebrate His resurrection together. At least one day a week should be set aside for remembering Jesusí triumph over death and Satan.
Finally, I need church because it's a time to spend with my Father.
Iím a child of God. As my Father, Heís not cold and aloof. He delights in spending time with me, and I want to be with Him. God wants to reveal His plans to me. And I want to get in on the details, to cooperate with Him. But Heís not only my Father; Heís our Father. And Christ is not just my Savior; Heís our Savior. Jesus said that when two or three are gathered together in His name, He is there (Matthew 18:20). And God has warned me not to forsake gathering with other believers (Hebrews 10:25).
I need church because Iím a part of a family, I have lots to learn, and I need to have a retreat. I know what my priorities are. I respect Christís death and am overjoyed by His resurrection. I want to spend time with my Father and other believers.
That's why I need church!
Stephen A. Bly
I want to thank the American Tract Society for permission to print this tract on our site.