Ray Hollenbach at ChurchLeaders.com has written a helpful article on how we need to see the importance of the local church and what a church is and is not.

This is needed big-time in our culture where the church and commitment to it is downplayed by many. Go here to read about six vital parts of a church.

I would add at least one more: accountable relationships and safeguards that keep me from straying from God.

Many would say, “My coffee buddy can warn me about straying into sin.” I would answer, “Yes. And he should do that.” But a coffee buddy can be easily ignored.

The entire church speaking into my life is a much stronger force to guide me away from the deception of sin.