Why You Should Consider Living Near Your Church

Nathan Finn | January 5, 2017

I love the universal church, which includes all believers everywhere. But over the years I’ve become firmly convinced that the local church is ground zero for worship, formation, witness, and service. Local churches are contextual expressions of the one body of Christ. The church is the people, not the building. To use old-fashioned Baptist language, the church building is the meetinghouse. Wherever the people are, there the church is. On the Lord’s Day, and perhaps other times, we’re the church gathered. When we leave the meetinghouse and head out into the world as individual disciples, we’re the church scattered.

For most of us, it’s easier to be a meaningful part of the church gathered—and to partner with the rest of the church scattered—when we live in the same community where our church’s building is located. I believe it’s ideal to live near your church’s gathering place for the kingdom’s sake.

Challenges of Commuting

I know how difficult it can be to stay connected to a church when you don’t live close by. From 2005 to 2015, my family lived in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where I was a doctoral student and then a seminary professor. Our church, First Baptist Church of Durham…

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