Is the local church needed?

By Michael Tidwell

     I have always admired ministries such as, Focus on the Family, and Money Matters, who stress the importance of before giving to their ministry, individuals should give to their local church first.  This is correct Biblical teaching. 

     Why is it important to support and to be faithful to a local church?  I could list many reasons supported by scriptures and statements made by Brother Branham.  But, if I could convince you of the importance of supporting the local church body, someone else could convince you otherwise.  The truth is we only need one reason and that reason is it is God's provided way for the day that we live.  

     A few months ago, I was ministering at a church and a brother shared with me that he normally attends a house meeting with his family and they listen to sermons of Brother Branham.  I listened to his reasons why he does not attend a local church.  The reasons he gave sounded good.  He, like many, might have reasons that humanly justifies them not supporting a local church.   But it is not God's provided way for us to stay home on the Lord's day and listen to recorded sermons or streaming services via the internet.      For years, we have sensed a powerful influence to undermine the need for the local church body being led by a godly pastor.  God's way is for us to support a local church and to be accountable to a local body and to be under the leadership of a local pastor.  Being part of a local body of believers, who believe in the five fold ministry is extremely important to your walk with the Lord. The Bible states that the five fold ministry is given by God for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:11:12).   Brother Branham went as far as to ask the question, "How can you say you can stay home and be just as good a Christian as you would be at church?  You can't do it." 

     I will admit the local  church body is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.     It is filled with imperfect human beings with a pastor who is fallible.   Years ago, I was ministering in Arkansas and misquoted Brother Branham.  I felt so bad.  For seven long hours back to Tennessee, I battled with it.  I even sent word to the pastor that I was sorry for making such a mistake.  Then God opened my eyes, that I am going to make many blunders as a minister, as every minister does.   I am human and there is only one perfect one and that is God.  With all our imperfections that we bring to the local church that is still God's provided way and thus it is the perfect way.    

michaeltidwellfamilyevMichael and his wife Crista, are blessed to have three beautiful children (Noah, Gracie, Luke). They live in the middle TN area and attend Eagle Christian church. He counts it a honor to be involved with Eagle’s View, BYC and serving as a evangelist. They enjoy being outdoors, traveling and above all serving the Lord.

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