There is some discussion today of whether or not it is still import to become a church member. I personally still believe that church membership is important. I also respect my colleagues who disagree with me, if they have formulated a good Biblical response against church membership in their churches. Here are my five arguments why I still believe in the importance of church membership.
MEMBERSHIP DECLARES THAT YOU ARE COMMITTED
A personal commitment helps a church know who is on board and who they can count on to serve in the church. It allows leadership to properly plan for the future, such as in financial matters, which often depends on those members.
MEMBERSHIP DECLARES THAT YOU ARE ON THE SAME MISSION
Our primary focus at the church I currently pastor (Cornerstone Bible Church in Forest City, PA), stresses that our lives should be the commitment of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, and all worship is due to Him. As a church lays out its specific mission, it says that the members agree with the overall mission of the church and the local mission of who and how they are trying to reach people. It can then grow believers within the church.
MEMBERSHIP DECLARES THAT YOU ARE PART OF A COMMUNITY
We can see such a community forming in the First Century church in Acts 2:44. The first part of the verse says, “all who believed were together.” In Acts 2, we see a community of believers develop. We see people who take care of each other’s needs, eating together, worshiping together, and living life together.
Becoming a member of a local church declares that you are a part of that specific community. It doesn’t mean that you are stuck with this local church forever, but it means that you are joining that local faith community at this time. This becomes important to a church so they know who is available to serve the local church, and if any of those members needs to be served.
MEMBERSHIP DECLARES YOU ARE WILLING TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE
Matthew 18:15-20 talks about Christians placing themselves under the accountability of each other. Membership says,” I’m going to place myself under the authority of a specific local church. That if I go astray in my faith, the church will call me back to God.” It doesn’t mean that the church looks to purge members upon one slip up. It means that the church lovingly watches out for the spiritual lives of its members.
MEMBERSHIP DECLARES TO OTHERS GOD’S SALVATION
Lastly, membership declares to others that you are a child of God. John 13:35 says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciple, if you have love for one another.” Membership says, “I have joined this local church because I’m a Christian and I believe the foundation of what this truth proclaims.” Of course, people who do not believe in God can attend a church and should. I’ve written before on this. Of course, you’re not required to be a member to be a Christian. Your faith isn’t dependent upon what church you attend or become a member. Salvation of your soul depends only on if you believe and profess that Jesus is your Savior, and that only His sacrificial work on the cross can save you.
At the same time, through membership you declare that you have saving faith. People in the community can see that as people join a church, a growing group of believers band together for a mission. It says to a community, “These people are turning to God.”
Are you part of a local church? If not, what is holding you back from joining a local church? Do you agree that there is importance to church membership?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.