Have you ever heard someone say they are a follower of Jesus Christ but are not part of a local church? Or that they cannot find a good church? Or that they have their own thing going with Jesus and don't need to be part of a local church? What do you make of that? More importantly, what does Jesus, our Lord, make of that? For insight into both questions, let's look at the well-known exchange between Jesus and Peter at Caeserea Philippi as captured in Matthew's gospel:
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:15-18)
Jesus, the Creator, is sustaining everything (Colossians 1:17). He for sure doesn't need our help there. Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven (John 14:2-3). You and I clearly have no role in that work, although I am beyond confident we will be blown away by what He has waiting for us. Jesus is busy but not overwhelmed or burdened. As my senior pastor likes to say, He can do all that with His feet up.
But there is one part of Jesus' work that His followers are to be busy with right up until His long-awaited return or our call home -- i.e., building His church. (I know we are to make disciples, but that happens in the context in the local church.)
If you are busy building the church of Jesus Christ, be encouraged and keep at it. You are doing the work your Master called you to.
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ but aren't busy building up His church in the local body, I simply ask, "Why not?"
Our Master is busy building His church. We are His bondservants. Let's help build up His church in love (Ephesians 4:11-16) and be found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:1-2) in that work when He returns or calls us home. It's the mission He called us to -- build!