Why not? Isn’t it the case that Christianity is about one’s personal relationship with God, not about involvement with some human institution which typically amounts to a silly social club filled with people who tend to be judgmental and hypocritical?
So goes the thinking of many people, even some who claim to be Christians, who will not darken the doorway of a church. But isn’t it way too easy to find excuses for avoiding the church, given all its problems, its weakness, its irrelevance, its unsavory members? Those who claim to believe in Christ, yet excuse themselves from having anything to do with a local congregation, have usually not considered this possibility: that pride might be leading them to judge other Christians unworthy of their attention; that pride might be preventing them from having any interest in worshiping the living God.
Providence Reformed Church is a place where proud, self-worshiping sinners are learning, through God’s grace, to decrease—so that Jesus may increase and receive the worship He alone deserves. We invite you to worship the living God with us. And if you claim to be a believer, but still live apart from the church, we would challenge you to realize that Jesus lived, died, and rose again not merely to deliver sinners from the terrible punishment we deserve, but especially to turn us into worshippers of that gracious God who has reconciled us to Himself and deserves all our love, obedience, and worship (1 Peter 2:4-10).
The visible church is also that place where God’s blood-bought children are growing into maturity by the proclamation of His living Word, so that we may use the gifts God has given us for the benefit of other members (Ephesians 4:1-16). Jesus did not save sinners to live solo-Christianity apart from the church, but to have loving communion with Him and with God the Father in the fellowship of other believers who gather to love and encourage one another (Hebrews 10:19-25). The church is no man-made institution. It is an outpost of the everlasting Kingdom of King Jesus. If you belong to Him and to His Kingdom, join yourself to a local church of Christ, outside of which there is ordinarily no salvation.
Information provided by Pastor J. James Lucero of Providence Reformed Church, 3615 University Avenue, Des Moines, 515-707-8022