A healthy church is kind of like a healthy family. It just oozes with encouragement and mutual care. And when you experience it, you reap the benefits deep within your soul.
With that in mind, here are 7 benefits of attending a healthy church:
1. You hear the truth spoken in love.
Healthy churches have a knack of speaking the truth in love. It's part of their DNA. They not only get the message right, but the heart behind the message is overflowing with the love of God. It is a powerful combination.
Think about when Jesus walked on the earth. He spoke the truth in love, and it changed the world. But before it changed the world, it changed the hearts of His disciples. That's how this whole thing works. You hang around people who are speaking the truth in love, and it gets inside you. It's been going on now ever since the Savior got the ball rolling 2000 years ago.
2. You experience Christian friendships which are a source of much spiritual encouragement.
We all need friends, and what better way to bless your soul than to have caring Christian friends. They don't judge you; they just help you. They are there to support you no matter what is going on in your life. And it's all because of what Jesus is doing in their hearts. They have a friendship with the Lord, and they know how to "be friends" with others for Christ.
3. You develop spiritually in ways that are not possible by living an isolated Christian life.
Try to find one person in the New Testament who developed spiritually without having the benefit of other Christians in his or her life. It's extremely rare. That's because we all need to be living in community. It's simply the way God designed it. Read the book of Acts. When the Christian church was just getting started, it was a beautiful communal experience. (see Acts 2:42-47) And in that community, God was at work to sharpen believers for His glory.
4. You maintain a high level of awareness concerning spiritual things going on around you.
Spiritual discernment can be a rather elusive quality. And that is especially true for those who are not part of a healthy church. There is something about church involvement that greatly raises a person's level of spiritual awareness. That is, assuming the person is part of a healthy church where the truth is spoken in love, and where Christians are encouraging one another in the faith. And whether you realize it or not, millions of Christians on the planet today are experiencing that very thing.
Think about it from God's point of view. He instituted His church in order for His people to grow. So of course He is going to attach special blessings to His church. And one of the biggest blessings is that you begin to see certain things from God's perspective. The Holy Spirit is the only One who can enlighten our heart and mind to grasp spiritual truth. And He chooses to do most of His work within the body of believers known in the New Testament as "the church."
So if you want spiritual wisdom and discernment, just make sure you are spending time every week in a healthy church.
5. Your family reaps life-changing blessings when you are strong in the Lord.
When it comes to the power and blessing of God's grace, the gift goes on. And on, and on. There is a ripple effect. And the people who are inside that first ripple are the immediate family members of the believer. This is why your family needs you to attend a healthy church. They need what you will receive in your heart by being an active disciple in a healthy congregation.
6. You discover ways God can use you to bless others.
Healthy churches provide wonderful avenues for Christians to serve others. There is no end to the ways God works through people to bless others. And in a healthy church, new opportunities for service are surfacing all the time. It is incredibly spontaneous. That's just what happens when you get close to the love of God at work among His people.
7. You bring joy to your Lord who instituted His church specifically for His people.
The greatest benefit of attending a healthy church is the joy it brings to your Lord and Savior. Just as parents love to see their children getting blessed in the home, so also the Lord loves to see His children growing in their faith as part of a healthy church.
God created Adam and Eve in order for the Lord and man to receive joy in this relationship. Likewise, when Christ began His church, it was for His followers to fully develop spiritually and for God to delight in His people.
So if you want to bring plenty of joy to your Creator and Redeemer, you will want to become an active Christian disciple in a healthy church. That's just the way Jesus set it up.