I recently read commentary that advised pastors to serve their people, but not to need them. Clearly, this was referencing the dangers that the need for approval can create in ministry. For if we become preoccupied with pleasing people, we invite the temptation of compromising truth and diluting God’s word in order to win favor.
However, the thought of needing others caused me to also consider those on the opposite spectrum whom state they don’t need church, or fellowship in order to be Christian. Is this true? After all, in some countries believers are denied the opportunity to freely assemble and are imprisoned for expressing their faith in Christ. But this reality presents a larger question – if these Christians willingly face death in order to worship with their fellow believers, why would so many others decidedly deny themselves this precious gift? For if we do, our spiritual walk is ultimately hindered in at least three vital ways:
Gifting: As believers we are all given gifts that serve to build the church, encourage others and mature believers in their faith (Ephesians 4:12). So, if we deny ourselves the opportunity to receive the gifts of others and to reciprocate the process by invested our gifts in them, we diminish our full potential to be used by Christ.
Grounding: There’s a lot of teaching that serves to “tickle the ears.” In other words, we can find people to tell us what we want to hear, but is it truth (2 Timothy 4:3)? When we commit to fellowship with believers who teach and live-out the inerrant Word of God, we are less likely to be swayed by false doctrine and in turn, we are able to share truth that breaks through captivating lies.
Growing: Without proper nutrition our physical growth deteriorates. Likewise, without consistent biblical consumption, our spiritual growth stagnates. Therefore, in order to grow in our walk with Christ, we can not disregard the biblical command for our active participation in church and fellowship as a primary component to our overall worship (Hebrews 10:25).
Application: “Feed The Need” – Galatians 6:10
The church is the body of Christ. We are created with differences and various talents, but we are to operate together for the glory of God and to share His truth with others so that they may be added to the growth of His body. Therefore, we must congregate, we must fellowship, we must serve and we must not isolate. Rather, let us seek out every opportunity to share the gifts we’ve been entrusted to the prosperity of all.