Looking back over my time at John Brown University, probably one of the best decisions that I made was to get involved in a local church. Not only have I made some great memories and met some incredible people, but I have matured a lot in my spiritual life as well. My college experience would have been much different had I not gotten plugged into a local church.
Within our generation, it has become popular to distrust the local church and forsake it in favor of personal devotion, a chapel service at college, listening to podcasts, or discussing the Bible over coffee. While both of those things aren’t bad, they are not the church. A biblical local church has three basic marks: pure preaching of the gospel, pure administration of the ordinances, and the practice of church discipline (for more on the marks of a true church, see this Ligonier blog series). If one of these is absent, then that assembly is not a church.
As young adults, we must recover the importance of the local church in the life of believers. Christians need the local church just as a finger needs the rest of the body or a lightbulb needs a power grid to function (see 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4). While it can be frustrating to have to change churches every time you move, it vital to worship with other believers on a regular basis. Here are a few reasons you should get plugged in to a local church:
The preaching of the Word of God is one of the main reasons to get involved in a local church. An expository journey through the pages of the Bible equips the body through teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
By joining a local body, you will get to meet and fellowship with other believers, providing an environment to disciple and be discipled. As a young person moving to a new town for college or a new job, this can be incredibly helpful. Often you will meet families, senior adults, and other young adults that will make your new location feel like a home away from home.
Through the ministries of the church, members are provided opportunities for guidance, accountability, and application of spiritual gifts in large and small group settings. Participation in the church empowers us to fulfill the Great Commission, equips us for personal growth, and allows us to magnify the name of God with other believers.
Involvement in the local church broadens our perspective. Young adults are prone to only interact with and focus on others their age (especially in a college setting). The local church reminds us that there are other people out there in the world. There are senior adults that can share their wisdom with us while also reminding us we aren’t invincible. There are kids that show us the value of childlike faith and joy. There are individuals who struggle to get food, clothing, and shelter that we often take for granted. There are families that demonstrate the importance of applying the gospel to their home and work as they seek to raise godly offspring.
When you, as a young adult, are an integrated part of the church, real relationships have a chance to form in a much different way than if a you simply show up to a church on Sunday or skip church altogether.
With that being said, I can’t emphasize this enough: get plugged into a local church!
Post by Lawson Hembree