Young people, is this your story? You were raised in your family’s church and were very involved in it when you were a kid and maybe through high school. But when you left for college or the military or to take a job far from home, you became much less involved in any church.
You did not plan to do this, but you had new responsibilities and demands on your time. You were free from old patterns and on your own to form new ones. Maybe you shopped around for a church that “fit your needs”—one that had a lot of people your age or music you enjoyed or a great preacher. You missed worship due to heavy school or work demands, but you still loved Jesus and prayed and watched worship services on TV or your computer. You just did not get plugged into a church.
Let me encourage you with two biblical thoughts.
First, Jesus has a plan for you and for every Christian. His plan is to have all Christians immersed in and cared for by His church. He revealed His plan to His disciples in Matthew 16:18–19: “I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” So, Jesus personally founded, authorized, and gave structure to this plan when He said, “I will give you [the Apostles] the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”