There are many Christians, like you and I, who have left the church at one point or another. In most cases, it was either because they felt abandoned by the members, judged, or thought they could pursue God without a church. In many instances, they were wronged in some way and the pain left a deep wound that caused them to walk away from the church completely or even worst from God. To those who have been wronged, wounded, hurt, or offended by their church I say: I’m deeply sorry. On behalf of all my Christian brothers and sisters, I apologize for the pain we’ve caused you and for not supporting you in better ways. I apologize for any words spoken without love and for any negative criticism you have received. I’m sorry.
That being said, I still believe that as believers, we all need a home church, a place to grow, build, and establish fellowship with others. The Bible makes it clear that we should not neglect to gather together (Hebrews 10:25). We should gather as a family, watching out for one another through love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).
There are many reasons why God desires for us to be among believers as often as possible. All these reasons can be attributed to one thing: fellowship. But what is fellowship after all? We hear the word often mentioned in church, in conversations with other believers and we read it in the Bible, but what is the meaning behind this word? Today, the word fellowship is often used in regards to worshipping together, under one roof, in a physical building. However, fellowship goes far deeper than this.
The word fellowship comes from the Greek κοινωνία (or koinonia), which means to share what one has in anything, to participate with enjoyment, to be partakers with, companion, to partner with others. Fellowship is about a shared experienced together through our common bond that is Jesus Christ. By looking at this definition, we realize that fellowship is actually about experiencing life together as a community, as a family specifically the family of God. Although fellowship involves having conversations, socializing and having fun, it goes far beyond these surface level aspects. As pastor Rick Warren reveals, “real fellowship is so much more than just showing up at services. It is experiencing life together. It includes unselfish loving, honest sharing, practical serving, sacrificial giving, sympathetic comforting, and all the other ‘one another’ commands found in the New Testament.” 
When you belong to a home church, when you are part of the body of Christ, you can enjoy wonderful fellowship with your spiritual family. Nothing can substitute this fellowship and you will not find this level of fellowship outside of a spiritual family. As such, here are seven reasons why you need a spiritual family (or home church).
- First, you were created for fellowship.
You need a spiritual family or home church where you can form relationships tied by a mutual love of God. You not only want relationships but you need it. God created you with that inner desire to form relationships with others. In the beginning, God said “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). God was not simply referring to the need for Eve, but for a community also. This is why you’ll always do better as part of a community despite the difficulties in some relationships, that desire is always within you because God made you this way.
- You belong to a spiritual family.
Just as the physical body is made up of arms, legs, feet, hands, and other body parts, which need each other to function in the best way possible, you were meant to be part of a body. The leg by itself is not worth much but when it is attached to a body, it can do great things. In the same way, you need to be part of a community of believers. Also, think of a house. It has a foundation, is made of walls and various pieces that support the top part of the house including the roof. It is like a support system. Remove one piece and the whole house can be compromised. You too need a spiritual family where you can not only belong but also can receive from other believers the support you need as you journey with God, and give others support as well.
Ephesians 2:19 says that once you have accepted the Son and have access to the Father, you are no longer an orphan or a stranger, but a member of God’s household. You belong to a second family, the family of God united by the love of Jesus (1 John 4:7). How will you enjoy the benefits of being part of this family by staying away from it? (See also 1 Timothy 3:15)
- You need a thriving community.
Everyone needs a community where one can grow and thrive. The success of that community as a whole brings joy, happiness, and personal success to each member. The apostles understood this principle and lived it fully. In Acts 2:42, we are told that the apostles devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Indeed, it was this, doing life together as one unit that allowed them to experience spiritual growth and intimate fellowship with one another. In such a community, members are committed to one another, love each other (John 15:12, 17), serve each other in love (Galatians 5:13), and maintain confidentiality. Your community should always be a safe place for conversation, sharing your faults with others (James 5:16) and having people who can support you as well as keep you accountable for your actions. Therefore, as you grow as a Christian, you will need such a community. It can be a great blessing to you and you can be a great blessing to others as well.
- The church is God’s most prized possession.
Although this reason may seem odd to some, it is actually at the heart of why you need to be part of a home church. God refers to the church, meaning the body of believers, as his bride. It is His most prized possession, which He ransomed and purchased for himself through the blood of Jesus.
“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God which he purchased with his own blood.” – Acts 20:28 (CSB)
You do not have to be a pastor, bishop, elder, or deacon to be an overseer of God’s church. He has left us all responsible for His bride. All have a role to play in this manner including you. You are invaluable to God’s bride and the mission of the church.
- You will experience greater spiritual growth.
When you choose to fellowship with others of the faith, you will not only receive physical blessings but spiritual blessings as well. The level of spiritual growth that you can attain is related to learning with others. When you are part of a home church or spiritual family, you can, for instance, take part in small groups where you will learn more and better with others. Other people’s experiences and testimonies can bring you great encouragement, teach you many lessons, and strengthen your faith. You were never created to be an island isolated from others. There’s enormous value in growing with others. Though some level of spiritual growth must be attained during your personal times with God, and in His Word, taking part in corporate spiritual activities will be a great asset. As we are told in Acts of the Apostles, the apostles learned together and prayed together. Without a doubt, this togetherness is what made them so successful and allowed them to grow deeper in their relationship with God (and with each other as well).
- You cannot fight alone.
In case you did not know, we are all involved in a spiritual battle that will not end until Jesus comes again. Until then, we need each other. As you walk with God, you will undoubtedly face many battles, trials, afflictions, disappointments, and temptations. No one can go through all that alone. You don’t simply need people; you need other believers. Non- believers will not understand the spiritual component of your battles and they certainly will not be able to stand in the fight by your side. You will need warriors who will go to war with you on their knees. You will need people of great faith who, when you are weak, can lift you up, strengthen you and point you back to Jesus, your greatest leader in spiritual warfare. When temptations come knocking at your door, you will need other believers to help you resist the devil so he can flee from you. (James 4:7) Also, you will need other Christians to remind you of the importance of putting on the armor of God daily. When all is said and done, “two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
- You are the church.
Finally, you need to understand that you are the church. The church isn’t just a building, it is every one that belongs to and follows Jesus. God wants to use you in ways that you cannot begin to fathom. You should not desire to belong to God’s family simply for what you can get out of it but also for what you can contribute. You have a unique opportunity to care for your spiritual family. There aren’t two people exactly like you, with your personality, your talents, and your gifts. You are unique! And it is this uniqueness that God wants to use to benefit the entire body (of believers). There’s a way that you love people that is also unique to who you are and God desires for your love to overflow into others. If you are missing from the body, the church is not complete. As such, God wants to make his church whole and when He does so, you will be whole in the process as well. You are the church! The light that comes from you is just as important as any other. However, remember that when you place a dozen, hundred or even thousands of light bulbs together, the light that shines from them is brighter and more impactful than each light bulb on their own.
So friend, even if you have had unpleasant experiences in the past, remember that today is a new day. It’s a chance to start over again and find a place for you to call home. Somewhere out there, there is a community where you fit in very well so go out and fellowship with other believers. Your light is needed.