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God wants you - and all Christians - to become part of a local church. We in the CRC believe that it is difficult to live as a Christian outside of a local body of believers. Apart from the church we can be easily turned aside by false teachers or discouraged when things go wrong. In the local church, we have brothers and sisters who care about us. They become our spiritual family to comfort us, to laugh with us, to worship and to pray with us.

The apostle Paul wrote to an early church about how important it is to be part of a congregation. He emphasized the importance of growing up into Christ, of maturing in our faith: "Then we will no longer be babies. We will not be tossed about like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from men who are trying to fool us. Those men make plans and try any kind of trick to fool people into following the wrong path. No! We will speak the truth with love. We will grow up in every way to be like Christ, who is the head. The whole body depends on Christ. And all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part of the body does its own work. And this makes the whole body grow and be strong with love" (Eph. 4:14-16 eb).

God also wants you to serve the church with the gifts you have been given. The Bible tells us "Christ gave . . . gifts to prepare God's holy people for the work of serving. He gave those gifts to make the body of Christ stronger" (Eph. 4:12 eb). You may be called to be an elder or a deacon or a church schoolteacher or to serve in the church's evangelism program. God may even be calling you to volunteer for short-term work on a mission field or to become a trained minister. Whatever you do, God has a place for you in the church. The important thing is to pray that God will show you what to do-and then to willingly respond to God's call.