Alone and Diligent v Accountable and Accurate

By Jamie Tenant

When I first started working out in the gym I hired a trainer to teach me. I had never lifted weights before and didn’t know a single thing about it. For a year, my trainer taught me what to do and the proper form. I took what I learned in that year and ventured out on my own. I’ve been working out on my own for about a year and recently got the bright idea to ask my trainer to come in and work with me for a week to see if there were any adjustments I needed to make or if there was anything I could add to my current workout.

I knew there would probably be adjustments I would need to make, maybe some tweaks in my form, but I did not realize how much I had slacked off in pushing myself in the past year. I had still been going consistently, I had been putting in the work, but I hadn’t been pushing myself to my potential. It took someone who knew what I was capable of to come alongside me and point it out. I had gotten lazy and didn’t even realize it.

As I have thought about that, God has shown me that this is why it’s so dangerous for Christians to remove themselves from the local church body. The church – the family of God – is there to continually teach us, guide us, and push us further in our walk with God. We may think we’re ok without being part of the church, after all we’re still reading the Bible on our own. Personally, I think that’s an illusion. You may be ‘putting in the work’ but most likely you’re not progressing.

We have a tendency to take short cuts when it’s just us and no one else is around. Things we wouldn’t normally do if we were connected to a body of believers becomes acceptable. Baby steps that over time add up. I didn’t get lazy in the gym after one workout, or even one month. It probably started with doing less reps of a difficult exercise, then maybe next time I just cut back on the amount weight. Before I know it I’m basically going through the motions, putting in the time, but not progressing like I should.

We were never created to do life as a Christian on our own. “For his “body” has been formed in his image and is closely joined together and constantly connected as one. And every member has been given divine gifts to contribute to the growth of all; and as these gifts operate effectively throughout the whole body, we are built up and made perfect in love.” Ephesians 4:16 TPT

There are so many reasons why a Christian should go to church. That’s more than I want to get into right now, but if Jesus died for the church, why would you neglect what He died for? I believe someone’s lack of desire and love for the church is a symptom of a deeper problem. Flaws and all, the Church is important to the Father, and we’re told, “…let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25

Do not reduce church to listening to a podcast. It’s so much more than that. It’s community. It’s worshiping with others, praying for others, hurting with others, serving others, being involved in the lives of others.” Craig Groeschel


By Jamie Tenant