What value is there to becoming like family to other believers? Acts 2:42 could be considered a basic statement of quintessential church activity: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” The Bible places importance on the church family unit because of these reasons:
We study God’s Word together — A church family provides consistent Bible teaching. This often comes through small groups, Bible studies, teaching from the pastor, Sunday school lessons, and so on. The church family is called to grow spiritually together, spurring one another on. Second Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
We honor God together through worship — There is a unifying factor when believers worship God together, whether it’s through music or preaching or serving. Psalm 34:3 emphasizes a call to corporate worship: “Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.”
We find accountability — The church provides a practical framework for accountability. Once relationships grow and friendships form, there is someone to encourage you, rebuke you when necessary, and rejoice with you. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron; so man sharpens his friend’s countenance.” Accountability is crucially important in the battle to overcome sin, and the church family is a great place to find someone to pray with, talk to, and confide in.
We find support in trial — When trials come, a support system is crucial. When in need, you will want your brothers and sisters in Christ to uphold you in prayer and assist with practical needs like meals, cleaning, and childcare. Galatians 6:2 encourages us to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
We gain opportunities for service — We not only receive support in the church; we give it as well. Your calling in the church is to contribute, not just to receive. When we are in close fellowship with other believers, we know when they need support and prayer. We can step in and help in practical ways. Ephesians 6:7 says, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.”
We make disciples — There comes a time when we need to learn to feed, not just be fed (Hebrews 5:12). We can evangelize, teach, encourage, and “disciple” our church family. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18–20).
In an age when the culture is increasingly secular, it is beneficial to be in a family of like-minded believers. These brothers and sisters can encourage you in your faith journey, respond to your questions about spiritual issues, and be a support in times of hardship. The church family can also give you opportunity to serve and disciple others. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).