The Local Church

It is no secret that The Master’s Seminary is all about the local church. Every program of study available is designed to equip students to faithfully pastor or teach the Word of God, and to be churchmen. The seminary shares its campus with the historic Grace Community Church, led by Bible expositor John MacArthur. Every year, the seminary and the church partner to host conferences for pastors and church leadership–leaders of real, local churches all around the globe.

Today, more than ever, Christians need to be reminded of the importance of the local church. In a day when satellite churches are becoming normalized, and live streaming makes it possible to listen at will to popular preachers and evangelists, believers are becoming disconnected from their own local congregation. New technologies and ways to broadcast the Truth are all blessings, but must not be understood to be replacements for what the New Testament describes as activities of the local church.

Inerrancy Demands Commitment to the Local Church

In the perfection of Holy Scripture, believers are reminded, “And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

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Acts 2:42 shows us what the early church did when they met together: “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” They learned God’s Word and the implications of it in their lives; they joined to carry out acts of love and service to one another; they commemorated the Lord’s death and resurrection through the breaking of bread; and they prayed. Of course, we can do these things individually, but God has called us into His body–the church is the local representation of that worldwide-body–and we should gladly minister and be ministered to among God’s people.

During seminary studies, it is absolutely imperative to belong to and serve in a local church. No medical student who studies only through books and lectures could consider himself ready for surgery without active internship in a real hospital, under the guidance of acting physicians. How much less so should a man who desires to be a physician of souls consider training apart from the “lab”–the local church, under the oversight of elder men of the Word, experienced in sacrificial service to God’s people. Opportunities are available to TMS students through on campus ministries with Grace Church as well as through local alumni-led churches around Los Angeles.

See also: Expository Preaching, Personal Holiness, and Global Missions.