When I was growing up I remember watching a TV hero called The Lone Ranger. Siding with good, the Lone Ranger was independent, operated on his own agenda and belonged to no particular community. He wore a mask and would slip in and out of town anonymously. People were left asking, “Who was that masked man?”
Many Christians today are adopting the Lone Ranger lifestyle. They visit various churches and attend numerous conferences and events. But they don’t become involved in a local church community and so remain on the fringes, unknown, unsupported and underutilized. But that’s not God’s intention!
Why did Jesus organize His church and call it a body, a flock, a fellowship, and a family? Because He never intended for His Kingdom to be made up of lone rangers. Why did He command us to make disciples, train people for the work of ministry, and pour our lives into the development of lives? Because lone rangers will never have the impact He desires for His Kingdom.
God knows we need loving support, and He calls us to be interdependent servants in the community of believers under properly aligned leadership.The writer of Hebrews exhorts us not to forsake the assembly, in other words, the local church (Hebrews 10:25). Scripture helps us understand that the Christian life is a community life.
We are told in Ephesians 4:11-15, “Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching… Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ”
As we come into this alignment, mutually submitted to authority and to one another, we will be built up in the unity of our faith. This is the only way that we can become mature in Christ. Without this alignment, the Lone Ranger Christians remain alone, struggling to mature, wandering from one teaching to the next. They do not have the support they need to grow in unity to their fullness in Christ.