We develop the character of Christ through bearing with one another in the body of Christ.Ephesians 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (NIV)
How else will we grow spiritually unless we interact with other believers? We learn humility, gentleness and patience, developing the character of Christ as we relate within the body of Christ.
In the body of Christ we exercise our spiritual gifts to serve and minister to one another.1 Peter 4:10
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. (NIV)
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (NIV)
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (NIV)
We will discover a satisfying sense of fulfillment when we begin to carry out our purpose in the body of Christ. We are the ones who miss out on all the blessings of God and the gifts of our "family members," if we choose not to be a part of Christ's body.
Our leaders in the body of Christ offer spiritual protection.
1 Peter 5:1-4
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder ... Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. (NIV)
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. (NIV)
God has placed us into the body of Christ for our own protection and blessing. Just like every earthly family, it's not always fun. We don't always have warm and fuzzy feelings in the body. There are difficult and unlovely moments as we grow together as a family, but there are also blessings that we will never experience unless we become relational and connected in the body of Christ.
Need One More Reason to Go to Church?
Jesus went to church as a regular practice. Luke 4:16 says, "He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom." (NIV) It was his custom—his regular practice—to go to church. The Message Bible puts it like this, "As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place." If Jesus made it a priority to meet together with other believers, shouldn't we, as his followers, do so also?
So, if you are disillusioned with church, perhaps the problem is not "church in general," but rather the type of churches you have experienced thus far. Have you done an exhaustive search to find a good church? Perhaps you have never attended a healthy, balanced Christian church? They really do exist. I would encourage you not to give up, but continue to search for a Christ-centered, biblically-balanced church. But as you search, remember also, churches are imperfect. They are full of flawed people. However, we can't let other people's mistakes keep us from a genuine relationship with God and all of the blessings he has planned for us as we relate within his body.
Here is a resource to help you find a good church: