We, in the West, live in an individualistic society. There really is no arguing it. I don’t think any westerner would even try. We love our families, yes. We are grateful for our friends and even our communities, but when it comes to thinking about ourselves and our lives, they really aren’t a factor. Though we benefit from our communities, they rarely have anything to do with our identity. We are a people more readily characterized by the spirit of Rambo, Jason Bourne, and Jack Bauer. We need no army or help. We bow to none.
This spirit has seeped into the church as well. Many Christians view their Christianity with the same individualistic lenses. Community, for them, is an option to benefit from when convenient, but not an obligation, responsibility, or requirement.
But this is terribly unbiblical. In fact, it is un-Christlike.
You cannot be an obedient follower of Jesus Christ and be ambivalent or neglectful of the church. How is this so? To put it simply, because Jesus loves the church and deems her existence and well-being as something of the utmost importance. To say it simply, if Christ is important to you, then the church will be as well. As always, Mark Dever nails it:
Ultimately, the church should be regarded as important to Christians because of its importance to Christ. Christ founded the church (Matthew 16:18), purchased it with His blood (Acts 20:28), and intimately identifies Himself with it (Acts 9:4). The church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:23; 4:12; 5:23-32; Colossians 1:18, 24; 3:15; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27), the dwelling place of His Spirit (Romans 8:9, 11, 16; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:11, 15-17; Ephesians 2:18, 22; 4:4), and the chief instrument for glorifying God in the world. Finally, the church is God’s instrument for bringing both the Gospel to the nations and a great host of redeemed humanity to Himself (Revelation 5:9). (Taken from the article entitled, The Church: A Display of God’s Glory)
If Christ is important to you, then the church will be also. His love will become your love. What captures His attention will also capture yours. If Christ is of any value to you, then the church will be as well.