Many times when Church Membership gets spoken of, people tend to turn a deaf ear. I wanted to take an opportunity to give my thoughts as well as other’s thoughts on the subject. The reason for this is because I believe that church membership is an important thing to discuss in the life of the church.
At The Vine, we believe membership is important to the life of our church. There are two reason why we have church membership:
01- It is about living within community with one another. When we are in community, we live with each other. We share our lives with each other. We share our prayers, hopes, and dreams. When you live in community, you are living as one body. One body of believers with different strengths, and gifts and passions, yet working together for a common good.
02- It is about being in agreement.
In agreement with the beliefs of the church both theologically and doctrinally
In agreement with the ministries of the church
In agreement with the financial decisions of the church church
Most importantly, in agreement with each other.
This living in community and being in agreement will always breed UNITY within people.
And unity is what the church is all about.
So, when we speak of church membership it has everything to do with building UNITY within the church.
Why then do we have membership? Because regardless of how the culture sees it or Christians misunderstand it, membership is not simply an opportunity to say, "I’m a part of a club," but rather a scriptural expression of covenant connectedness to a church.
The church is the body knit together as God’s agent, His body, His kingdom at work in the world.
People need membership commitment because they need to be connected to a Christian community. This is not just for the sake of the faith community, but also for the sake of the individual.
Individualist Christianity is a myth and a damaging pursuit. At the end of the day we’re redeemed. We’re placed in the body. The Bible specifically says he has redeemed us. He has transferred us, Colossians 1 says, from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of the Son he loves. A kingdom has a king. The king has subjects and his kingdom has a community together where we function as God’s people.
God makes us a part of his larger family when we are born again. But then, we should covenant in a local body and live in community with them, agreeing to live by certain established godly principles and standards.
Membership doesn’t save us but it enables us to grow and become spiritually mature in Christ. Not only should we be members of the body, each of us should also be able to express the value of membership. Hopefully, then people will stop squirming when we bring up the topic, but instead passionately embrace the biblical nature of church membership.
It’s how to embody and experience biblical images. It’s within the accountability structures of the local church that Christians live out or embody what it means to be the “body of Christ,” the “temple of the Spirit,” the “family of God,” and so on for all the biblical metaphors (see 1 Cor.) And you want to experience the interconnectivity of his body, the spiritual fullness of his temple, and the safety and intimacy and shared identity of his family.
It’s how to serve other Christians. Membership helps you to know which Christians on planet Earth you are specifically responsible to love, serve, warn and encourage. It enables you to fulfill your biblical responsibilities to Christ’s body (for example, see Eph. 4:11-16; 25-32).
It’s how to follow Christian leaders. Membership helps you to know which Christian leaders on planet Earth you are called to obey and follow. Again, it allows you to fulfill your biblical responsibility to them (see Heb. 13:7; 17).
It helps Christian leaders lead. Membership lets Christian leaders know which Christians on Planet Earth they will “give an account” for (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2).
Having said all that, when someone becomes a member, it shows us and them that The Vine is their home church. To become a member, you must fill out a Covenant Agreement. Every couple of months, we have a New Member information meeting. This meeting usually takes around one hour. During the meeting, we discuss the different aspects of our church and answer any questions one might have regarding membership. As the pastor, I would also be available to sit down with you at any time and discuss these things at your convenience. We look forward to you becoming involved at The Vine. We believe that as the church equips people and spreads the gospel, people in turn will utilize their gifts and talents within the ministry of the church.
Hope you have a great day,
Parts of this blog were taken from:
Ed Stetzer The Exchange
Jonathan Leemon 9Marks