WHY DO WE NEED CHURCH? 1. It is good for people not to be alone. Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone...” 2. The Church is the family of God. Just as a child needs a family for protection and growth, so we too need a spiritual family for the same reasons. Psalm 68:6 God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. 3. Being in a local church helps protect us from deception. 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 4. Being in a local church helps protect us from false teaching. 2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. 5. The local church is a place for us to discover, develop, and release our gifts and talents to glorify God. Read Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. 6. We are encouraged by God to encourage each other in love, spurring on one another in our walk, remembering to meet together regularly. Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Practical Benefits of Church: 1. Every person can function: A word of instruction, an interpretation, a hymn, etc. Someone who is outside of a local body cannot participate as God requires, and one's gifts go unused. 1 Corinthians 14:26 Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you. 2. Each person can be discipled. Jesus commands us TO disciple as well as BE discipled. Matthew 28:19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 3. Each person can be trained. All through the gospels we see Jesus training twelve men who would later turn the world upside down! 4. Every member can be a minister. We grow into maturity, receiving gifts and using them. Ephesians 4:11-16 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. 5. Every believer needs valuable relationships. Jesus is the ultimate friend. We learn about friendship. John 13:15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. John 15:15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 6. You can reach your friends and family for Christ. Matthew 28:16-19 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.