“Membership in a local church is not an antiquated, outdated, unnecessary add-on to true membership in the universal body of Christ; membership in a local church is intended as a testimony to our membership in the universal church. Church membership does not save, but it is a reflection of salvation. And if there is no reflection of our salvation, how can we be sure that we are truly saved? As John explains, ‘If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen’ (1 John 4:20)” (Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church).
Is church membership biblical? Yes!
1. WE ARE COMMANDED TO MEET TOGETHER REGULARLY FOR OUR OWN GOOD AND FOR THE GOOD OF OTHER CHRISTIANS.
"Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:12-13).
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
2. WE ARE COMMANDED TO USE OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO BLESS OTHER MEMBERS OF THE BODY.
"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness" (Romans 12:3-8).
3. WE ARE COMMANDED TO LOVE OTHER CHRISTIANS WITH ACTIONS, NOT MERELY WITH WORDS.
"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:16-18).
4. WE ARE COMMANDED TO JOYFULLY SUBMIT TO SPIRITUAL LEADERS WHO KEEP WATCH OVER OUR SOULS.
"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you" (Hebrews 13:17).
5. WE ARE COMMANDED TO EXERCISE CHURCH DISCIPLINE TO PRESERVE THE WITNESS OF THE CHURCH.
"It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you" (1 Cor. 5:1-2).
"Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him" (2 Cor. 2:5-8).
“If a man can't be cured of churchgoing the next best thing is to send him all over …
looking for the church that ‘suits’ him.”
~ Screwtape, from C. S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters
HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER:
- Attend the New Members Class.
- Sign the Membership Form.
- Meet with an Elder.
MEMBERS ARE EXPECTED TO:
- Regularly participate in Sunday worship services.
- Regularly serve in group ministry (e.g. Community Groups, Sunday school, etc.).
- Regularly, joyfully, and sacrificially contribute to ongoing ministry (e.g. 10% tithe).
- Regularly grow in Christian maturity.