50 Quotes about the Church

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I love the church! I love being with God’s people and growing and serving together with brothers and sisters in Christ. One of my life’s pursuits is striving to be everything God designed the church to be. Here are 50 quotes about the church to challenge you and get you thinking about how you and your local church can pursue the biblical vision of being the body of Christ together.

1. “The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his work become the one and only thing that is vital between us. We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly, and for all eternity.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

2. “It is joyous for a church to stand together as one and say: “We don’t know exactly how this is going to play out. But we’re going to trust the Lord and move forward, because all that matters to us is the greater glory of Jesus in our world today.”
― Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., The Gospel

3. “The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness and sanctification center, where flawed people place their faith in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he designed.”
― Paul David Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands

4. “Trying to be a Christian without a connection to the local church is like trying to have a marriage without interacting and communicating with your spouse. The church is a critical piece of a relationship with God. In fact, a relationship with God is seriously compromised apart from the local church.”
― Thom S. Rainer and Sam Geiger, Essential Church

5. “Satan always hates Christian fellowship; it is his policy to keep Christians apart. Anything which can divide saints from one another he delights in. He attaches far more importance to godly intercourse than we do. Since union is strength, he does his best to promote separation.”
― Charles Spurgeon, Satan: Defeated Foe

6. “The church exists primarily for two closely correlated purposes: to worship God and to work for his kingdom in the world … The church also exists for a third purpose, which serves the other two: to encourage one another, to build one another up in faith, to pray with and for one another, to learn from one another and teach one another, and to set one another examples to follow, challenges to take up, and urgent tasks to perform. This is all part of what is known loosely as fellowship.”
― N.T. Wright, Simply Christian

7. “You (Millennials) are the generation most afraid of real community because it inevitably limits freedom and choice. Get over your fear.”
― Tim Keller

8. “We are all called to initiate involvement in each other’s lives… We covenant together to work and pray for unity, to walk together in love, to exercise care and watchfulness over each other, to faithfully admonish and entreat one another as occasion may require, to assemble together, to pray for each other, to rejoice and to bear with each other, and to pray for God’s help in all this.”
― Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church

9. “The fellowship of the saints is a vital means of grace for the disciple of Christ. We can be enriched by means of listening to sermons online and by delving deeply into the ocean of knowledge found within Christian websites, but these cannot replace the authenticity that comes only by means of the local church and its ministry. . . . Don’t allow the Internet to become your congregation. YouTube is a horrible place to go to church.”
― Albert Mohler, “The Deep Limitations of Digital Church”

10. “A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

11. “Believers are never told to become one; we already are one and are expected to act like it.”
― Joni Eareckson Tada

12. “Loyal fellowship of believers is not an ‘add on’ to good doctrine. Fellowship of believers is often the vein through which the Savior’s blood pumps us whole and well.”
— Rosaria Butterfield, Openness Unhindered

13. “Because God has already laid the only foundation of our fellowship, because God has bound us together in one body with other Christians in Jesus Christ, long before we entered into common life with them, we enter into that common life not as demanders but as thankful recipients. We thank God for giving us brethren who live by his call, by his forgiveness, and his promise. We do not complain of what God does not give us; we rather thank God for what he does give us daily.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

14. “The only answer to one culture is another culture—not just a concept, but a counterculture. A church should offer the world such a counterculture, a living embodiment of the gospel.”
― Ray Ortlund, The Gospel

15. “Divisions in churches never begin with those full of love to the Saviour. Cold hearts, unholy lives, inconsistent actions, neglected closets; these are the seeds which sow schisms in the body; but he who lives near to Jesus, wears his likeness and copies his example, will be, wherever he goes, a sacred bond, a holy link to bind the church more closely than ever together. May God give us this, and henceforth let us endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
― Charles Spurgeon, Sermon no. 607, Jan 1, 1865

16. “The Church is a family expecting guests.”
― Andy Stanley

17. “Christian fellowship … is self-sacrificing conformity to the gospel. There may be overtones of warmth and intimacy, but the heart of the matter is this shared vision of what is of transcendent importance, a vision that calls forth our commitment. So when Paul gives thanks, with joy, because of the Philippians’ ‘partnership in the gospel’ or ‘fellowship in the gospel,’ he is thanking God that these brothers and sisters in Christ—from the moment of their conversion (‘from the first day until now,’ Paul writes)—rolled up their sleeves and got involved in the advance of the gospel. They continued their witness in Philippi, they persevered in their prayers for Paul, they sent money to support him in his ministry—all testifying to their shared vision of the importance and priority of the gospel. That is more than enough reason for thanking God.”
― D.A. Carson, Basics for Believers

18. “God is a missionary God. The Bible is a missionary book. The gospel is a missionary message. The church is a missionary institution. And when the church ceases to be missionary minded, it has denied its faith and betrayed its trust.”
― J. Herbert Kane

19. “A church determined to hold only those doctrines that a secular world finds adequately comprehensible is a church that will hold to no central vital Christian teaching whatsoever.”
― Albert Mohler

20. “God does not want a church filled with white-robed saints. He does not want a church filled with theological authorities or cultured clergyman. He wants a church filled with ordinary men and women who exemplify the extraordinary integrity, temperament, wholeness, compassion, individuality, boldness, righteousness, earnestness, love, forgiveness, selflessness, and faithfulness of Jesus Christ!”
― Ray Stedman, Body Life

21. “Be united with other Christians. A wall with loose bricks is not good. The bricks must be cemented together.”
― Corrie Ten Boom

22. What good is it to have a church grow wide, but not deep. A church can have all of the programs in the world. But if people aren’t changing, all you have is religion…a show on Sundays
― Tony Evans

23. “Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate. The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our fellowship is in Jesus Christ alone, the more serenely shall we think of our fellowship and pray and hope for it.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

24. “The church is so subnormal that if it ever got back to the New Testament normal it would seem to people to be abnormal.”
― Vance Havner

25. “A church that loses its distinctiveness is a church that has nothing distinctive with which to engage the culture. . . . A worldly church is of no good to the world.”
― Russell Moore, Onward

26. “Often the Christian community looks very bounded and guarded, very rule driven, very inaccessible… Quite frankly, from my perspective, it has often seemed that Christians have just grown comfortable having a starvation diet of community. It’s hard for starving people to have a meal. It just is.”
― Rosaria Butterfield

27. “The lives of Christians together display visibly the gospel they proclaim audibly.”
― Daniel L. Akin, A Theology for the Church

28. “Being a member of a church means realizing that we are responsible for helping the brothers and sisters around us to grow as disciples of Jesus. In the same way, they are responsible for helping us. We desperately need each other in the daily fight to follow Christ in a world that’s full of sin.”
― David Platt

29. “You and all the members of your church, Christian, are finally responsible before God for what your church becomes, not your pastors and other leaders – you. Your pastors will stand before God and give an account for how they have led your congregation (Heb. 13:17). But every single one of us who is a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ will give an account for whether or not we have gathered together regularly with the church, spurred the church on to love and good deeds, and fought to maintain a right teaching of the hope of the gospel (Heb. 10:23-25).”
― Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church

30. “The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity.”
— Mike Stachura

31. “Autonomous Christianity never works, because our spiritual life was designed by God to be a community project.”
― Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling

32.“The Church is the Church only when it exists for others.“
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

33.“Churches are having a limited impact on society because they fail to understand that the goal of the church is not the church itself but the kingdom.“
― Tony Evans

34. “A healthy church is not a church that’s perfect and without sin. It has not figured everything out. Rather, it’s a church that continually strives to take God’s side in the battle against the ungodly desires and deceits of the world, our flesh, and the devil. It’s a church that continually seeks to conform itself to God’s Word.”
― Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church

35. “The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

36. “One cannot have Jesus without the church. Jesus died for the church; his whole mission was directed toward gathering a saved community. Christ is not complete without his people. To take Jesus means taking also his teachings and taking the people who are joined to him. To emphasize Christ is to make his church important.”
― Everett Ferguson, The Church of Christ

37. “The difference between listening to a radio sermon and going to church…is almost like the difference between calling your girl on the phone and spending an evening with her.”
― Charles R. Brown

38. “The Church acts as a sort of embassy for the government of the King. It is an outpost of the Kingdom of God surrounded by the kingdom of darkness. Just as an embassy is meant to showcase the life of a nation to the surrounding people, so the Church is meant to manifest the life of the Kingdom of God to the people around it.”
― Kevin DeYoung, What is the Mission of the Church?

39. “The vessel through which the Lord Jesus can reveal Himself in this generation is not the individual, but the body of Christ. True, ‘God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith’ (12:3), but alone in isolation man can never fulfill God’s purpose. It requires a complete body of Christ to attain to the stature of Christ and to display His glory.”
― Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life

40. “The health of the local church depends on the willingness of its members to inspect their hearts, correct their thinking, and apply their hands to the work of the ministry.”
― Thabiti M. Anyabwile, What Is a Healthy Church Member?

41. “Church was designed to deliver what we were created to long for. Church must again be about a Vertical encounter that interrupts and alters everything.”
― James MacDonald, Vertical Church

42. “Church begins with Jesus: who He is and what He has done. It is all about Jesus, and if it begins to be about something else, then it stops being the church as Jesus meant it to be.”
― Neil Cole, Organic Church

43. “God’s desire is not for us to turn our churches and Christian gatherings into hideouts from the world. Rather, they’re meant to be places where we become equipped and fortified to minister out in the world.”
― Beth Moore

44. “The Christian community demonstrates the effectiveness of the gospel. We are the living proof that the gospel is not an empty word but a powerful word that takes men and women who are lovers of self and transforms them by grace through the Spirit into people who love God and others.”
― Tim Chester, Everyday Church

45. “The Church must send or the Church will end.”
― Mendell Taylor

46. “Ultimately, each church will be evaluated by only one thing—its disciples. Your church is only as good as her disciples. It does not matter how good your praise, preaching, programs or property are; if your disciples are passive, needy, consumeristic, and not [moving in the direction of radical obedience,] your church is not good.”
― J.R. Woodward, Creating a Missional Culture

47. “By reconciling you to himself, God also reconciles you to his family, the church, and enables you as his people to represent together his own holy character and triune glory.”
― Jonathan Leeman, Church Discipline

48. “Thriving churches have the Great Commission as the centerpiece of their vision, while dying churches have forgotten the clear command of Christ.”
― Thom S. Rainer, Autopsy of a Deceased Church

49. “A church can offer living and palpable proof that the gospel makes a real difference for real people living in the real world.”
― Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., The Gospel

50. “Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.”
— Oswald J. Smith

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