Over the years I’ve run into people who have moved from the pew to the pillow when it comes to church. They have gone from attending a local church in a physical building, to becoming part of an online church. Their “online church” is where they listen for spiritual guidance, give their time, money, and energy.
There are many benefits for churches to provide an online presence, which I will address soon. At the same time there is no substitute for being part of a local church. I want to give three reasons why attending a physical location for church is beneficial.
DIRECT MINISTRY TO ONE ANOTHER
First, we understand the word “church,” which is ecclesia in the Greek, is not a building, but people. The New Testament Greek word actually means “called out ones.” So when we talk about the term church we need to replace the thought of the actual building with a group of local believers in Jesus Christ.
Could you communicate with people online and be a part of that group which encourages and ministers to each other? Sure. But, as we have found from social media the last decade, social media actually struggles with one of its main pillars of what it says it is, being social.
We can best relate with one another when we are with one another. Being in the physical presence of someone, we can read their verbal inflections and nonverbal body language to see how they really are doing. We miss much of these things online, but if we attend a local church we can see if someone looks discouraged, upset, or sad. It is easier to minister directly to people when we are in their physical presence.
KEEPING RESOURCES IN OUR COMMUNITY
If you attend a local church, the majority of the ministry resources go into your local church and community. We should not be against giving to groups outside of our local church. My wife and I have made donations throughout the year to many organizations outside of our local church, and even our country.
However, we should care for our local faith family first. God calls me to put my resources into my local church first. These resources often blessed me and my family, as I reap some of the blessings of those funds from that ministry. They also help reach my community for Christ and help take care of my community.
UNITY AND COMMUNITY IN JESUS
Lastly, the local church provides community and unity in Jesus. Many passages talk about this. I think about Galatians 3:26 that talks about everyone who has faith in Christ is put into God’s family.
Christian fellowship is much bigger than just hanging out with someone. This is spending time with others who have the same belief in Christ Jesus. It is encouraging each other in Jesus. It is helping each other understand who they are in Christ, and what they can become in Him. This unity transcends typical divisions within society and provides a family for local unity.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why we should be part of a local church if we are believers. It is better than being part of an online church. We can directly encourage one another, give our resources mainly to a local faith community, and have unity and community with believers who we can see regularly.
What are some of the other benefits you have from attending a local church over an online church? How have you been blessed by attending a local church? Can you think of other reasons why it local church provides more than an online church in order to feed your soul?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.