Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

One Reason You MUST Be Part Of A Church Community

Notice that word — COMMUNITY

For too many people church is nothing more than attending meetings.

But in the New Testament, church meant being part of a community.

That’s what I’m urging you to be part of — a church community.

What that means

It means being part of a group of people who —

  • Drink of the Spirit together (1Cor 12:13)
  • Deeply love each other (Rom 12:10)
  • Weep with each other’s weeping (Rom 12:15)
  • Bear each other’s burdens (Gal 6:5)
  • Speak the truth of God’s Word to each other (Eph 4:15)
  • Pray with each other (Acts 2:42)
  • Advance the Gospel together (Phil 1:27)

There’s more – but you get the idea.

In the New Testament — church is not just meetings you attend — it’s a community of believers you know and love.

So —

What’s one reason you MUST be part of a church community?

It’s because as a believer you are part of the body of Christ (1Cor 12:13).

This is not just theory.  This means you are to be part of a local community of believers.

You are like a hand — which is supposed to be joined to a physical body.

Why MUST a hand be joined to a body?

One reason is — to survive.

To survive?

Yes.  That’s implied in Hebrews 3:12-14 — where we are urged to exhort each other daily lest anyone’s heart fall from God.

In the book of Hebrews falling from God implies being lost forever.

So the reason we need to be part of a community which gives and receives daily exhortation is so we won’t be lost forever.

But what about eternal security?

I believe in eternal security — but like John Piper says — eternal security is a group project.

Your brothers and sisters need your encouragement to keep persevering in the faith.

And you need their encouragement to keep persevering in the faith.

A severed hand

Think of Paul’s analogy of church as a body — and of yourself as a hand.

If you are not part of a community of believers — it’s like you are a hand that’s been severed from a body.

If a severed hand doesn’t reattach to the body — and receive blood, oxygen, and nutrients from the body — it will die.

And if you don’t attach to a body of believers — and receive the spiritual blood, oxygen, and nutrients from the body — you will die.

That’s why you must be part of a church community — to survive.

But maybe at this point some excuses come to mind —

But it takes energy to find a church

Yes.  It does.

But unless you are living in a closed country which has not yet been reached by the Gospel — God has a nearby church He has chosen for you — and He will guide you to it.

(And if you are living in a closed country — He will sustain you by His grace until He raises one up.)

It might take some energy.  But until you find it — you are a severed hand.

So pray earnestly.  And start looking.

But I’ve been hurt by church in the past.

That happens.  It’s tragic.  And I can’t guarantee you won’t be hurt again.

But you are a hand which needs to be joined to a body.

Better to risk possible hurt than risk spiritual death.

So — ask God to heal your heart from the past hurt.

And then ask God to lead you to what church He has for you.  He will.

But I don’t like the worship or the preaching or the age of the people.

Remember — apart from a local community of believers — you are a severed hand.

So if the worship is Christ-centered it makes no difference if it’s off-key — you need the blood.

If the preaching is Bible-based it makes no difference if it’s monotone — you need the oxygen.

If the people trust Jesus it makes no difference their age — you need the nutrients.

Any Christ-centered worship — any Bible-based preaching — any group of believers — is better than none.

God has a church for you

He will give you all the grace, wisdom, and strength you need to find it.

So pray — and lift this up to Him.

Ask Him for wisdom.

He will guide you — help you — provide for you.

Picture a severed hand — blue from lack of blood, oxygen, nutrients — coming back to life as it’s reattached.

Get reattached.

Thoughts?  Feedback?  Comments?

I’d love to hear them — leave a comment below.  Thanks!

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(Picture is by john-p from everystockphoto.)

Category: Fellowship, Church Life, and Relationships


10 Responses

  1. Jason Belk says:

    Amen. I have found this to be true in my experience as well. A powerful passage in Hebrews 3 relates to the salvation security part of this blog:

    12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:

    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.

    I know I need others encouraging me, checking in, praying and serving along side. It is much harder for me to learn love apart from community. 1 Cor 12 is formational and powerful in my thinking and action for how I view the church. I need to love others in order to learn how Christ loves me.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      So glad you quoted the Hebrews 3 passage, Jason.

      And I’m thrilled to be able to experience this community with you :).

      Thanks for the many ways you encourage others in the body.

  2. Brian says:


    A supporting point to why we need to be part of a church, “we need them and they need us”.

    Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

    Who will encourage them to hold fast?
    Who will encourage us?

  3. Erin says:

    So cool steve! I really feel a difference when I feel part of a community vs. just attending church.

  4. Mr. Fuller, Thanks for your encouragement towards church community. (Truly what church is suppose to be.) Our family churched at home by ourselves for several years because of a lack of biblical churches in our area. The Lord has greatly convicted us since that we were in disobedience in doing so. We have been amazed looking back at how merciful the Lord has been to us as we were without a body of believers. We went through several difficulties and slacking away from the truths of the Word, all because we were out on our own. The Lord has been gracious to bring us back to truth each time. It has been sad to watch other families that we know, who also are without church families, gradually become inconsistent and stray away from the truths that we thought they were very firm in. -An obvious result of not being accountable to a body of believers. We thank the Lord for His graciousness to us in the time that our family was alone, and pray for those that we know who still are. We all need each other in the body so as to encourage and exhort one another daily and not give place to the devil. Out side of this, we truly are very handicapped.

  5. Dan Turner says:

    Once again your devotional and statements have truly spoken to me through the Holy Spirit. This devotional on why we must be part of the church community is exactly what I needed to read today. I’ve been struggling some on my regular attendance of services lately and have been searching the scriptures for encouragement and wisdom on why we should be part of that community. You’ve given me that encouragement. Thank you Steve! May the Lord continue to enable and strengthen you in your work for Him and the many souls you touch in the community at large.

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