The Fellowship of the Beloved

Your Heart’s Cry

I see no purpose in church attendance. What benefit is there for me to sit in a pew on Sunday with people I only see once a week? If God is everywhere, why do I need church? I can worship in the privacy of my home. I can pray in solitude to an audience of One. Church is simply a building of pious people flaunting their holiness. It’s a group of like-minded elitists congratulating each other on having made it in. Religion is not synonymous with having a relationship with God. I’m secure in my relationship with the Almighty. The church is powerless to change me and powerless to change society. I love God, but God is not church, and God is not in most of the churches I’ve attended.

Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. Revelation 4:11 ESV

His Reply

The body of believers you have described is not My church. My church is built upon a sound foundation. My church is established in the atoning Blood of Christ. My church is not a lukewarm exchange of platitudes and gratitudes. My church is a fellowship of the beloved. My church is a group of believers drawn by My presence and by My Word. My church is joined together as one for one common goal: to bring glory to My name.

My church has a purpose, and each gathering is a teambuilding experience. Edifying each other is part of the weekly exchange, as are correction and empowering. Relationships are at the foundation of each disciple’s growth. Corporate times of praise and worship are a gift to be enjoyed, a freedom to be expressed. My church has the same power within it that raised Christ from the grave. If the place of your congregation does not fit My definition, stop calling it My church. Go find a church where My people are thriving spiritually, binding the brokenhearted, feeding the hungry and setting the captives free because this is the outward evidence of My church.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:8 ESV

Your Turn

Join the conversation by adding your comments below.

What has been your experience with the church?

by Saundra Dalton-Smith

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Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a Board Certified internal medicine physician. She shares with audiences nationwide on the topics of eliminating limiting emotions, finding grace in difficult places, and experiencing personal renewal by drawing near to God. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and has been featured in Women’s Day, Redbook, and First For Women magazine. She is the founder of I Choose My Best Life. Her other books include award-winning Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves.

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions ( and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.