Christian ministry is not only for the task of a pastor, but of the local churches.
I am persuaded that the church today has many more consumers than committed participants. Our tendency toward ecclesiastical consumerism has seriously weakened the church. For most of us, church is merely an event we tend or an organization we belong to. The “passive body that pays the professionals” culture of the modern evangelical church must be forsaken for the ministry model God has so wisely ordained.
This misunderstanding of formal church memberships has crippled our effectiveness of the local churches in our local context. Some have a nutty ideas of church membership and they are often too far from the scriptures.
Here are three what’s NOT church membership.
1. Church membership IS NOT Gym Membership
People conceived the church is an organization you pay a due for a singular purpose; You can go where you want and whenever you want, the only commitment is the money but the commitment of one’s time and presence is determined by the self.
The Bible speaks instead of how God’s people gather together under his supreme rule (Overseers/Elder) on a regular basis. It’s interested in the citizens of a kingdom, not club members.
2. Church membership IS NOT Country Club Membership
Most people think of church membership as it’s where they are just there for the social aspect of people hang around in a closed-group (the elite people group) with common interest there.
We see a different vibe there with the church. You don’t “pay to belong” there. Instead the local church community should is a place where Christians form and shape one another for good through all the dynamics of friendship under the leadership of the pastor who are looking to Christ as Lord means being united to Christ’s people..
Therefore, Christians should look to the church for ethical instruction, counsel, accountability, and discipline in the matters that are addressed by God’s word.
3. Church membership IS NOT Sam’s Club Membership
“Well, I’m coming for religious good and service. I want to leave the rest behind.” There are Christians who as,
The local church enables the world to look upon the canvas of God’s people and see an authentic painting of Christ’s love and holiness, not a forgery. And the local church lays down a pathway with guard rails and resting stations for the long journey of the Christian life.
So what is church membership? It’s a declaration of citizenship in Christ’s kingdom.
It is the people of God united for the gospel mission under the biblical prescribed offices those that God has ordained. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching. They share fellowship, the breaking of the bread, and prayer. They call themselves “believers” and share everything in common, including their possessions and goods as people have need (Acts 2:44-45).
“Well, Jonathan what about those who just show up and talk about Jesus in their homes? What about those who love Jesus for 30 years but don’t like the church and don’t attend?” In the New Testament, we see each context of churches are different of the make up of a church. There are always different kinds of people showing up to the assembly.
However, the Biblical recognition of the system that God has placed is always evident within the local churches. The life and authority of the local church shape and orient the lives of its members.
“Church membership is a formal relationship between a church and a Christian characterized by the church’s affirmation and oversight of a Christians’s discipleship and the Christian’s submission to living out his or her discipleship in the care of the church.” – Jonathan Leeman
What we see in the scripture is that God forms us when we gather to worship in pretty profound ways. It may not really be in felt ways, but they are usually occurring through the ordinary means of gathering together, such as singing together, hearing the Word of God together, breaking bread in communion.
Why We Can’t Neglect The Worship Gathering
God moves in that space that we are not really aware, but he is moving in us and this is happening by His own design in that gathering. Christians possess a special power and corporate identity when formerly assembled.
“Don’t neglect this! Make this a priority of your life!” (Heb. 10:25)
Gathering of the saints needs to be one of the top priority of Christ followers, in fact it is crucial and essential to the faith! For the good of their own soul, for the mission of Christ, and for the health of local congregation.