My Local Church


The church has received a poor press in recent years, so how should it really be?

We first need to recognise that the church doesn’t belong to me or anyone else. It belongs to Jesus Christ. He founded it and vowed that He would build ‘His’ church.

Secondly, we need to understand that the church is not a building, or an organisation or a denomination, or traditions, or rituals. These may be legitimate and may be convenient for the operation of the church but they are not themselves the church.

The original word for church (ecclesia) means the called out or gathering of a group of people for a particular purpose or reason. In the case of the Christian church it is the assembly of those who are followers of Jesus Christ.

Although the term can be applied to all followers of Jesus Christ, wherever they are and throughout all time, we typically see the church operating in a local context. Consequently, when using the word church, the bible is usually referring to the assembly of a group of people who are followers of Jesus Christ in a local area.

All the ministries we read about in the New Testament are centred in the local church. Consequently, the ‘Christ-centred’ life should also be a ‘church-centred’ life.

So what should a local church be like?

  • It should teach me how to live my personal life in relation to God, society, my family, my partner and myself
  • It should teach me how to live my Christian life, making Jesus Christ the foundation of my life, learning true doctrine, becoming a functional part of the body of Jesus Christ
  • It should be a source of Encouragement that comes as a result of prayer and demonstrations of love for one another
  • It should be a source of Godly advice when I’m struggling with temptation or when I need a godly role model
  • It should be a place to employ God given talents, first to support other members of the church and then to go beyond the church to serve the community
  • It should be a centre for evangelism. Having received all that God offers, I should always be prepared to give a reason to others for the hope of salvation that has changed my life
  • It should be the centre for mission, supporting financially and prayerfully those who are working in different countries to share their faith and make the world a better place
  • It should be the social centre, where Christian people gather and participate in wholesome activities that strengthen relationships, encourage each other and help one another to grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.

Jesus Christ uses you and me to build His church, so the church will be the sum total of what we choose to make it.