If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
1 Corinthians 12:26-27
I can dimly remember a time when I was not a part of a local church. My family came to faith in Christ when I was seven years of age. It was a radically life-changing conversion. Up to that time we were typical unchurched Americans, maybe in church on Easter with extended family out of a vague sense of tradition, but Jesus and His Church were foreign to us. When the gospel transformed my parents' needy and broken lives, that all changed!
From that time on, the worship of the Lord, the teaching of God's Word, and the fellowship with other Christians in a local church became our lives. We were members of Christ's body, and not just in an official upper case Baptist Church Membership sense. We lived and served in community with Christians in the lower case organic and sometimes messy "members of a body" sense.
When my mother's health failed and she eventually died, I knew the concern of a church community that was like close family to me every day of a very rough few years. When my father went through tough times, doubts, and his own struggles, I had the support of the body of Christ, and it was the teaching and care of the church for him that eventually brought him through. When I have been up or down, the church has always been there. Christians as the body of Christ, both needing me and me needing them, have always been there for me. It is a great thing to be part of the Church that Jesus is making! It is my life.