For a long time, I wasn’t a cheerleader of the church. The local church has been woven through my life and it’s often been a source of messy relationships, hidden struggles and expectations I couldn’t meet. Because of this, I ran from the church and everything I associated it with for a season.
Eventually though, I came across a church that accepts me wholly as I am and allows me to find grace. Now, I’m getting the chance to piece together the truth of Christ and I’m forever grateful. As I continue to grow, I’m constantly aware of why I need the church in my life. I’m also learning why the church needs me (and you).
When God created us, He did so in His image. Through us, God shows love, hope, faithfulness, kindness, patience, etc. God invites us to be redeemed and to invite others into redemption too. God invites us to relationship through Jesus and with that calls us to freedom. This is why the church needs us: to represent Jesus to the world.
The church is simply a body of believers coming together, and with that it brings the opportunity to grow into Christ’s likeness with one another. Yes it’s messy, but it is ultimately good. Where I may be naturally passionate and full of hope, you may lean toward kindness and gentleness. Where I might struggle with trusting God’s grace, you might struggle to believe He’s good. Where I wrestle with pride, you’re tempted by something else. All in all, I need you; you need me. Together we share Christ with one another and create a more complete representation of Him. This is why the church needs us: to come together to be the body of Christ.
For most of my life, I’ve wanted to be like Jesus. I’m terrible at it most of the time, impatient and prone to tunnel vision in my life. But when I look back, I see I’ve changed over time. I can see, day-by-day, that He’s making me a little more like Him. The church needs to see God at work in my life; the church needs me to share Him in my life with others. And I need that from you. I need to see God at work in and through you. Not only so we can come together to be the body, but so we can bear witness to one another as well. This is why the church needs us: to witness the Spirit of God at work.
These days, I’m on the sidelines cheering as loud as I can for the church. Heck, I’m so for the church that I’m running onto the field trying to get some skin in the game. I love the messiness of relationships and learning how to fight for one another. I love sharing struggles in order to invite others to share too. I love shattering the lies about church that I believed for too long. I’m thankful to say the church needs me, and I hope you’ll believe it needs you too.