Author: Jayson Fisher Topic: Christian Living
Being a Part of a Local Church Matters Now
Here is another BYX buzz phrase. No, not “intentional” or “accountability” or “heart-level,” but rather “BYX is not the Church.” BYX believes that we do not replace the calling given by Christ to the Church (Matt. 28:19-20), but if we are honest with ourselves as college students, we often live our lives like BYX has done exactly that.
Too many men in BYX think the local church is something attended on a Sunday morning, not something you are a part of throughout your time in college. This can be extremely detrimental to your walk with the Lord after college when BYX, or any other parachurch / campus ministry, is no longer a part of your life. You will spend time filling a seat on a Sunday, and then Monday through Saturday you will feel the aches and pains that come with a relationship with Jesus that does not involve his bride. Before long, you will realize that being a part of the local church is critical to your spiritual health. Trip Lee, in a blog at Desiringgod.org, says this:
“And so we [as Christians] can’t say: ‘God has adopted me. He is my Father. I am glad he is, but I am just going to ignore his people altogether.’ That doesn’t make any sense, because if you are adopted in his family, you now have brothers and sisters.
This is a very similar thing to when we get saved. We can’t just think about things individually anymore, just like when I get married and now I am one with another sinner. We have to wrestle with things together. When we trust Jesus, not only do we become one with Jesus, we become one with his people. There is a unity that Jesus has already won for us, and we are now beginning to fight for it. It is just like how I can’t get married and then decide to ignore my wife. In the same way, you can’t just be adopted into a new family and ignore your brothers and sisters. It makes no sense. It is illogical.
So not only are you robbing them of the ways that you can edify them; you are robbing yourself of the ways they can edify you — and it is core to what it means to follow Jesus. So I encourage young men strongly: Do whatever you can to find a church that preaches God’s word, that is centered around the gospel, and where people want to fight to love him more.”
Paul writes in Ephesians 2:18-22:
“18 For through [Jesus] we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
The Church is something that all who have put their faith in the death and resurrection of Christ are a member of, and that does not start after college.
By not being a part of the local church, you are missing out on the single greatest plan God has to spread the gospel to those who do not know Christ. And by replacing the Church with BYX, you miss out on community with any other person who is not a college-aged male. Seek out a local body of the Church and serve on Sunday mornings, and you will be surprised at how quickly you feel a part of that local church. The writer of the book of Hebrews exhorts all of us to get involved with the purpose and mission of the local church in Hebrews 10:23-25:
“23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Community is difficult, and some have found it easy to punt on the responsibility to meet together as the local church. Do not take that bait. Get involved, and not only will you reap the joys, but you will also be able to impact the lives of other believers. We all know that BYX is important, but if BYX is the only “spiritual feeding” you are taking in, you are doing the equivalent of eating a single Clif Bar and saying you eat healthy. BYX is a supplement to the local church, not a replacement for it. Continue to find ways to get involved with what the local church is doing in your community.
Jayson Fisher is the National Advisor for the Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, and Tennessee-Chattanooga BYX chapters. Jayson is studying at Dallas Theological Seminary for his ThM. He and his wife Kylan live in Dallas, TX.