Jesus could have created an individualized discipleship but He chose to create a community of disciples, what we know as the church. St. Paul realized at the moment of his conversion that Christ and His Body were inseparable. The great preachers and teachers of the early centuries loved to speak of “the whole Christ,” Head and members.
From a Catholic perspective, you cannot separate personal discipleship (spirituality) from membership in the church.
Yet, in reviewing church history, the Body of Christ has not always had as large an institutional presence as it does at present. It may be wise to hear the implicit critique of those who choose to absent themselves from the life of the church and concentrate on the essentials that bind us together.