We believe although our faith is a very personal matter, it should never be a private one. We are to take our foundational personal experience and share it by regularly praying and worshiping with other believers in a formal fashion. In His church. Jesus said I will build my church. It was important to Him, and is to us as well, because it is the agent of Christ’s mission on this earth. The good news calls us to someone, as well as to something.
While there is not a verse commanding us to join a church, it is very much implied. When we cross the line of faith, we come into the family of God because we become his children (Jn 1:12). When people come to faith, they are immediately identified with the church. Acts 2:47 says the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved. This certainly implies there was a way of counting members from non-members.
In Ephesians 4, the apostle Paul teaches membership is essential to individual growth in Christ. To develop and mature in our Christian walk, we need each other. It always takes others to bring out our best.
We need the church to come along side and assist in raising our children. Few would say raising kids is an easy task. In a world with so much glitter vying for their attention, it is difficult to train our children to believe and follow wholeheartedly what is true. Godly people who love and teach our children can be our best allies.
There is a big difference between attending and joining and it’s summed up in one word: Commitment. Without commitment, church as we know it would be impossible.
No one ever washes a rental car before they take it back. But when a car is yours, a whole new level of care and concern are in place.
So we believe we are called to membership for four different reasons.
1. A Biblical one: Jesus is com-mitted to the Church. “Christ loved the church and gave His life for it.” (Eph 5:25). If it was this important to Him, shouldn’t we have the same concern?
2. A cultural one: We live in an age where few are committed to anything - a job - a marriage - a family - our country. This attitude has produced a generation of church hoppers and shoppers. Membership, as an unselfish decision, swims against the current of consumer religion.
3. A practical one: Membership defines who can be counted on. During a membership class, we discuss what we believe and why. Knowing this, we can count on others when we put them in positions of responsibly in the church. Every school has an enrollment. Every army has an enlistment. To vote we must register. Membership identifies our family, and gives us a starting point of using our gifts for service.
4. A personal one: It produces spiritual growth. The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for believers to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth.