Christ did not leave us as orphans (John 14:18, but has ascended to be with us through his Spirit (Eph. 4:9-14). He intentionally designed and established his church as the place where he may be found. Christ now actively brings his redemption to the world through the church (John 20:21).
Christ came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Christ's mission is and was a gospel mission. The church must never have a mission separate from Christ's mission. This means the focus of everything we say and do is gospel-centered.
Scripture emphasizes that the local church is not just a gathering of people remembering Jesus. We are the very Body of Christ. This means we experience Christ fully when we participate in the local church.