Is it enough to just come to church on Sundays? Why should we be bothered about being members of a local church, particularly Agincourt Baptist Church? Let me first consider the Biblical evidences, then allow me to suggest 5 compelling reasons why church membership is vital.
Though there are no explicit Biblical texts that demand that a person joins the church as a member, there are indications within the New Testament that do suggest that church membership was practised. First, the early church did keep a list of its members. We know from 1 Timothy 5:9 that a list of widows was kept so it is very likely they did have a church list of sorts. Second, the fact that Paul tells the Corinthian church to exclude the sinful brother from fellowship (in 1 Corinthians 5:2 and 7) seems to imply that the church had a roll call of membership. Third, God has never been fuzzy in terms of making a distinction of separating His people from the world. In Revelation 21:27 and Philippians 4:3, the Bible does suggest that God himself has a book of life where He does record those who belong to Him.
So, why should we be committed to a local church by joining its membership? Allow me to suggest five compelling reasons to join a church as a member:
1. For non-Christians
We should become members of a church for the sake of non-Christians. Church membership helps make the gospel clear to non-Christians by providing a unified witness of what it means to be a Christian. Membership provides this unified witness by implementing a common statement of faith and unity in doctrine and lifestyle.
2. For our brothers and sisters
God isn’t just concerned about your own piety; he’s interested in us caring for other sheep in the flock. Members should serve other members to run the race with perseverance.
3. For the church leaders
If regular worshippers don’t eventually make themselves known to the pastor as members of the church, then the pastor cannot take responsibility for them as part of his particular flock. Pastors need to know for which sheep God will hold them accountable so that they can tend to them most responsibly and effectively (Hebrews 13:17).
4. Because you want the Gospel to go forth in power
If you truly believe that the Gospel needs to be communicated to the community, your commitment to the local body of Christ is vital. By committing to local church, you express that commitment through tithing, giving to the church’s needs, and serving in ministry. Your contribution to the church’s resources will then free the pastors and leaders to do what God has called them to do.
5. Because Jesus never wants half-baked commitments
Jesus never expects our faith to be lukewarm but to be committed. Just as a marriage act is an outward expression of an inward commitment, joining a local church solidifies the commitment that we are committed to shepherd the flock He has placed under our care (see John 21).
If you are interested in church membership at ABC, please see Pastor Matt Sampson.