Why Church Membership?

by Bibles.net 
Time: 3 Minutes

Of all the topics to read about, church membership might not seem like the most interesting or even important. It’s not the most popular or trendy topic.

The idea of church membership likely evokes a range of responses.

Maybe you hear the term church membership and respond indifferently. You might reason that, if the term is not even explicitly mentioned in the Bible, then it’s probably not all that important.

Maybe you hear those words and feel a twinge of anxiety. Perhaps the idea of “joining” church seems scary or even dangerous. Perhaps, you’ve been burned by other Christians or leaders in the past and can’t fathom the idea of committing to “join” a church where others might be able to manipulate, mislead, or even spiritually abuse them.

On the other hand, maybe the idea of church membership carries positive expectations for you. Perhaps you view it as something like a gym membership or a monthly online subscription service. Church membership may be no different than any other kind of membership. To be a church member is to be “subscribed” to all the perks and benefits that a church has to offer. In the end, you view church as a kind of spiritual product or service, and membership is simply way you sign up or become eligible. Like any other service, you can cancel on it or unsubscribe at any time.

Church membership isn’t and shouldn’t be viewed as a service. Nor should we fear that it is another way for others to take advantage of us or hurt us. When we look at what the Bible says, it’s clear that it is not only important but crucial for all those who follow Jesus. But why?

God intends for us to live out the Christian life in community. God has not redeemed individuals to have a one-on-one relationship with him alone. Rather, when God saved us from our sin, he made us a people who are united and bound together in him (Ephesians 2:11-22). We have not only been reconciled to God through Jesus, but to one another as well! Our membership in a local church is where we put the manifold wisdom of God on full display—showing the world how he has united us in Jesus (Ephesians 3:10)!

Church membership, therefore, isn’t a perk or benefit to serves only our own interests. It is the way that all of us who follow Jesus, by God’s grace, help one another grow up into maturity as we encourage and spur one another on in the faith (Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 23-25). Through church membership, we also commit to worshipping God together with his people on a regular basis.

Church membership provides us with the kind of accountability and responsibility that we need to not only grow in our relationship with Jesus but to help others grow as well!

Church membership provides us with the kind of accountability and responsibility that we need to not only grow in our relationship with Jesus but to help others grow as well!

God has so designed the Christian life that you and I need other people. We need our church family to help keep us accountable to living a God-honoring life, to encourage us, to teach us, to guide us through difficult seasons, and to fight the fight of faith. But they also need us to serve them in the same way! Church membership enlists us into the kinds of formal and functional relationships necessary for growth in our relationship with God.

In short, the Christian life isn’t about you and Jesus alone. Rather, it’s about the people of God striving together as they stand side-by-side in faith, hope, and love. Membership in a local church is the means that God has given us to do that very thing!

If church membership seems boring, or scary, or even just plain transactional to you, then we invite you to explore the resources on this page to discover the joy and blessing of being a member of a local church!

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