Working with young Christians (preteens to late-20’s) has its fair share of difficulties. For the college/young adult age-group in particular, there is one gem that stands out among the rest:
a lack of
They go from one college group to another, failing to commit to an actual church. No matter how picture-perfect the church is, they always find something wrong with it…and bail. They’re kind of like those guys who date every girl in town: they date girls while they’re cool and hot and then ditch ’em as soon as someone else catches their eyes rather than choosing to commit to one lady for the rest of their life.
No cost. No commitment. No crime, right? Wrong.
God calls the church His bride. Just like a husband is to completely commit Himself to His bride, so are we, Christians, to commit ourselves to God’s bride, the church (yes, there are some circumstances that call for a change in churches).
There are many causes for this young generation’s achilles heal and I will address them in the near future. For now, I’d like to speak directly to those of you who are young Christians and yet fail to commit to a local church. You say things like,
I like Jesus, but I don’t like the church.
The church is full of hypocrites.
I don’t need the church.
You ask questions like,
Why do I need to go to church? My relationship with God is between Him and I.
Why do I need to commit to one church? Don’t all churches make up one universal church?
Although there are countless reasons why you as a young-adult Christian need to commit to one local church, I’d like to give you eight:
- God eternally exists in Christian community (the Trinity); don’t you think you should, too?
- Jesus lived his adult life with a community of believers.
- Jesus went to the temple (or church) as a child. Though we only have a few records of His childhood, one of the scenes written by Luke shows Jesus attending and participating in the life of the temple (Luke 2:41-52).
- The New Testament has at least fifty-nine commands that require you live in a community of other believers; we refer to them as the “one-anothers.”
- Let’s be honest: you need the accountability and support. Deal with bitterness? Anxiety? Depression? Gossip? Difficult time not watching porn? Going too far with your girlfriend or boyfriend? Wrestling with addiction? The list goes on…God gives Christians the church so that they can grow and walk together (Hebrews 3:12 & 13).
- God uses your relationships with other Christians to display His glory to the unbelieving world (John 13:35).
- God gave the church elders to keep watch of and care for their souls like a shepherd does for their sheep (Acts 20:28). The author of Hebrews calls for believers to submit to these very elders, for they are the ones who will give an account to God (Hebrews 13:17).
- It’s God’s plan. In Paul’s letter to a younger pastor named Titus, he tells him that Jesus laid down His life to redeem and purify a group of people, namely the church (Titus 2:14).
Though God’s church is filled with sinful people, God is doing something in and through these people that no one else in human history has ever nor will ever be able to do: He is perfecting imperfect people from every tribe, tongue, and language, uniting them to celebrate and enjoy His glory and splendor for all of eternity.
Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?