Christ makes the whole body grow as God wants it to, through support and unity given by the joints and ligaments – Colossians 2:19 GW.
The church is the body of Christ. Each local church is a part of that body – vital and integral. Every part is linked to the body by joints and ligaments. It’s through this union that it’s taken care of, nourished, fed, provided for. It’s through this vital alignment of each part of the body of Christ that God causes the parts to grow and flourish as He wishes. This understanding is extremely critical. No part of the body of Christ, meaning the local church, is independent and a standalone from the whole. It only consists in the whole. It’s only through its union with Christ that God can recognize and tend to it. The local church is a breathing, pulsating part of the body of Jesus Christ, receiving life and nourishment only as it’s connected to Him, to His systemic bloodstream.
Now every part of the body of Christ has members. These members are vitally linked to the body of Christ through its parts. Just as the parts are united to the body so are the members to the parts. The parts are the local churches and the members are the Christians in those churches. The way you are linked, vitally connected and aligned to your local assembly is very important, in order to feed off what Jesus supplies to the church. A Christian who is not a member of a part of the body of Christ cannot receive care, nourishment, protection, supply or growth from Jesus because he is misaligned, disjointed and disconnected, literally dismembered. Every part of your body that is removed from you dies, because it’s cut off from your body system. So it is with every Christian who’s cut off from Christ’s body system, the church – they fall off, wither and expire.