The church has a lot of critics, but no equals. If you want to encounter Jesus, then you need to be a part of the church. Jesus is always aware of what is going on in the lives of His people and in the church.
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus addresses the church of Ephesus, which was an actual church. It was originally pastored by the apostle Paul. In fact, when Paul went to Ephesus and preached the gospel, a riot broke out (a common occurrence wherever Paul preached). Yet Paul established a congregation in Ephesus, a place known for its pagan idolatry.
Ephesus was a tourist destination for people who wanted to worship at the temple of Diana, one of the wonders of the ancient world. So the fact that a strong church existed in Ephesus was amazing in and of itself. This church was an enduring church.
Jesus began with words of commendation for this church. He said, "I know your works, your labor, your patience . . ." (Revelation 2:2). In the original language, these words carry the meaning of working to the point of exhaustion. The believers at Ephesus were hard workers. They gave their best to the Lord.
He was saying to the Ephesian church, "I have noticed. I know. I am aware of what you are doing."
Jesus taught in Matthew 6, "But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly."
So if you have ever felt as though what you were doing for God was not acknowledged or recognized, remember that God sees. Jesus is saying, "I know."