If you have ever been a dedicated church member, I am sure you have witnessed church chaos or drama at one point or another, maybe even multiple times.
My family and I have been a part of several churches where we fully dedicated our time, finances, and resources to serve the church. Unfortunately, during my teenage years we also experienced several messy break-ups with churches due to issues outside our control.
I am sure that many of you can relate to my experience, an experience that broke my heart over and over again. I loved being a part of the church, but shattered relationships, the loss of my community, and the loss of service opportunities hurt deeply. After our last church breakup, I dreaded the process of finding a new church and dedicating myself to another group of believers.
Thankfully, my parents did not lose hope, and we found a wonderful church to call home. As I applied for church membership, I reflected on why the church is important. What purpose does it serve, and why do we need to be a part of a body of believers, even when we have been hurt by churches in the past?
Even when individual churches fail, God still has a vital role for the church to play in bringing about his will on earth. While there are many reasons why we need the church, I want to share with you why I still attend church despite my past tumultuous experiences.
Teens Need The Church for Relationships
Joining a church is comparable to being adopted into a family. As the people of the church spend time together, they move from being strangers, to friends, to family. Church is not just a social institution, but rather a home.
My pastor always says that the church is like a symphony. All the instruments in the symphony are different–and some play more than others–but all are necessary. Our vast differences are complementary and beautiful.
As we grow closer to the people in our church, we risk being hurt by these relationships, but we also find ourselves in a position of potential growth. We learn how to be with people we may not like and how to deal with real life issues. Relationships, although messy at times, are both necessary and beautiful.
Teens Need the church for Spiritual Growth and Accountability
In Hebrews 10:24-25, Paul encourages the early believers to not forsake their gathering together, but rather to continue encouraging and exhorting each other in their Christian walk. When we are a part of the church, we are reminded that we are not alone in life. As we do life with the people in our churches, we become accountable to them for our actions.
An isolated Christian is a vulnerable Christian. Through prayer and Biblical teaching, the members of the church can grow and mature together. When we are a part of a body of believers, we realize our own worth–how we are needed, loved, and appreciated.An isolated Christian is a vulnerable Christian. Through prayer and Biblical teaching, the members of the church can grow and mature together. Click To Tweet
Teens Need the church for our Spiritual fight
According to Ephesians 2:1-4, God redeemed us through his unending love and grace, but we still live in the world where darkness reigns. There is a fierce war in the earth between the powers of darkness and God’s illuminating truth. Thankfully, we do not have to fight alone.
While we are all individual soldiers, the church is both our fort and our boot camp. It is the place we go to receive strength, encouragement, and solidarity with other believers. It is where we learn how to live in the world, but not be of the world. When we all work together and combine our armor, complete with the very Spirit of God, we are invincible. The spiritual fight becomes easier when we share the burden.
At the end of the day, we are not driven to attend church by legalistic obligation or by our feelings, but rather as an extension of our relationship with God. Despite constantly changing life circumstances, our motivation to attend church can remain solid.
God in his goodness gave us the church for our own benefit and to give us the opportunity to benefit others. The church is the place to see God’s love in action, both in our own lives and the lives of others.
Despite my tumultuous church experiences, I still believe that the church is God’s plan for his people on earth. Please, don’t give up on the church.
It is not perfect, but it is certainly worth it.