The Universal Church is the body of Jesus Christ. Every person who has been baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit is a member of that body. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).
When the members of His body gather together to celebrate and worship Him, that is a meeting of the local church and it is an important aspect of the Kingdom of God in the earth.
It is also true that the Kingdom of God is manifested everywhere it’s citizens are, whether in their homes, schools, places of employment, or the marketplace. The power of His grace at work in them testifies to the reality of His reign!
We all need close relationships in Christ to thrive and to encourage others. At the same time, nowhere in the scripture do we find any indication that an individual can only be a member of one local congregation. In fact, the closest relationships are often outside the regular place of meeting, along with some of the greatest opportunities to serve.
These days I am thinking about how wonderful it is to be a part of the world-wide community of God’s family. We are greatly diversified in our patterns of worship and thinking, and yet one in Him. I do not have to reject one part of His family in favor of another. I do need to find the areas of service that Christ has prepared for me. It is His pleasure that I live for!