This reflection from Alister McGrath gives good insight into the importance of the Church.
We have our imperfections. We have our deep flaws. We also have the ability to reflect the astonishing beauty of our Savior. We must know the HEAD of the Church loves the BODY.
I began to see the church as a place that helps Christians straddle the two worlds of faith—where we are now and where we shall finally be. It’s like an oasis in a desert, equipping us to work and serve in the world while fostering and safeguarding our distinctiveness as Christians.
I began to realize that the church was an imperfect yet important anticipation of heaven, whose worship and ethos were integral to my faith. The church was a community gathered around the public reading of God’s Word, its interpretation and application through preaching, and its enactment in worship and prayer.
Cyprian was bold, but his statement is one I am coming to embrace, even as a Pentecostal: “He can no longer have God for his Father who has not the church for his mother.”