Image for What Is Church? And How Important Is It?

What Is Church? And How Important Is It?

Photo of Bobby HarringtonBobby Harrington | Bio

Bobby Harrington

Bobby is the point-leader of and, both collaborative, disciple-making organizations. He is the founding and lead pastor of Harpeth Christian Church (by the Harpeth River, just outside of Nashville, TN). He has an M.A.R. and an M.Div. from Harding School of Theology and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of more than 10 books on discipleship, including Discipleshift (with Jim Putman and Robert Coleman), The Disciple Maker’s Handbook (with Josh Patrick) and Becoming a Disciple Maker: The Pursuit of Level 5 Disciple Making (with Greg Weins). He lives in the greater Nashville area with his wife and near his children and grandchildren.
Download eBook


If we could succinctly capture everything God teaches about church in Scripture, there would be three vital points of summary:

  • A Church is 1) a regular, intentional, and relational gathering of Christians, and, 2) the people who gather (locally and universally), and 3) its purpose is to help people be disciples of Jesus and make disciples of Jesus.
  • Church is a matter of following and obeying Scripture. There are many hundreds of passages in Scripture that teach us about 1) what it means to function as a church, and 2) what you must do in obedience in order to grow and help others grow within the church.
  • Church is essential to your faithfulness.

Two verses from the book of Hebrews bring everything together in a short summary. Hebrews 10:24-25 says it all:

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Yet there is a huge challenge we are facing in many places today with people dropping out of church.

When you drop out of church…

  • You disobey the direct command of God in Hebrews 10:24-25 (“…not giving up meeting together…”).
  • You break God’s heart by not seeking to follow hundreds of passages he gave you to follow in Scripture.
  • You turn your back on a fundamental foundation for your Christian life.
  • You hurt other Christians by not being there to encourage and help them to trust and follow Jesus.
  • You miss all the benefits of church and start to grow weaker and weaker in your faith, passion, and faithfulness to Jesus.
  • You influence others—especially family—to follow your path and they detach from the benefits of church and the things of Jesus, and this trajectory leads, over time, to a turning from faithfulness and even from the faith itself.

“When you drop out of church, you influences others—especially family—to follow your path.”

In this 49-page eBook, Bobby Harrington, point leader of and, explores what the Bible teaches about what a church is and why it’s important. The chapters are as follows:

  • Chapter 1: How Important Is Church—According to Our Culture?
  • Chapter 2: A Sampling of Answers
  • Chapter 3: Erroneous Definitions of Church
  • Chapter 4: What Is a Church? The What
  • Chapter 5: What Is a Church? The Who
  • Chapter 6: Does the Particular Day Matter?
  • Chapter 7: What Are the Functions and Practices of a Church?
  • Chapter 8: What About Relationships, Order, and Leadership of a Church?
  • Chapter 9: What Is a Church? The Why
  • Chapter 10: Arriving at a Definition That Incorporates the What, Who, and Why
  • Chapter 11: How Important Is Church—According to the Bible?
  • Chapter 12: A Very Short Story