Why becoming a member of your church just makes sense.
Why do you need to become a member of the church?
I was asked that question not too long ago which had me thinking deeply. After some time in meditation on the word of God and this question, I was able to sum it up like this; you don’t need to become a member of the local church… you should become a member of the local church. It’s not a requirement for salvation. It’s not going to get you extra points in heaven. What it will do for you is far more impactful. As you will see, by becoming a member of your local church you are living out in a real way what the scriptures call each of us to do.
It is difficult in the culture of today, where many people have universally shied away from becoming a member of any organization let alone the local church, to understand. Views on the church as being irrelevant or unnecessary are stronger than ever, couple that with the common thought that the local church does more harm than good in a person’s life makes people even more hesitant to officially become a member of the church.
Now we can’t deny that a lot of hurt has been dealt out from local churches in the name of God, but what we can do is highlight for you the biblical good that becoming a member will do. When you become a member of the church you are leaving behind the comfort of your own ideas of independent spirituality and allowing yourself to be joined together with fellow believers, just as Jesus Christ left his own comfort behind to be joined with us.
God’s gives us an example of membership in the local church when two months after he redeems his people from Egypt, he proceeds to count them.
“The Lord spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: 2 “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. 3 You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army. “ (Numbers 1:1-3)
And how it seems he continues to keep count of his flock in his “Book of Life”.
“3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.” (Philippians 4:3)
“5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.” (Revelations 3:5)
Becoming a member of the local church means you are proclaiming to be a part of the body of Christ.
“21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:21-26)
“4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:4-5)
There is something unnatural about a Christian that attaches themselves to a body of believers in many ways and yet chooses not to be a functioning member of that body.
The scriptures speak of God as a Shepherd and even highlight real life shepherds and in the New Testament the writers spoke of church leaders as Shepherds over a flock.
When you become a member of the local church. You are giving the leaders, deacons, elders, and or pastors in that church the ability to exercise what the New Testament clearly sets them up for.
“28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
“2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:2-3)
Church membership means submitting yourself to the authority of the church. By becoming a member, you are giving the Pastor and Elders the authority to speak the truth of God into your life on a more personal level. It also appears that the church is the final board by which to appeal for grievances within the church body.
“15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17)
“17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” (Hebrews 13:17)