Very shortly after coming to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus, I had a strong desire to be a part of a local body of believers and wanted to serve in any area I could in the Church. As soon as a need arose I volunteered to fill that need. It started with needing someone to fill in to drive the Church van on Sunday mornings, the driver was having surgery and would be unable to drive for awhile, when I heard there was a need I quickly volunteered to serve, then as an usher, working with the youth, teaching and the Church treasurer. My heart longed to serve in any area where there was a need because I loved my brothers and sisters in Christ and had a strong desire to serve the Lord and the Saints in anyway possible.
One thing I could never understand though as a new Christian many years ago was that so many would pass through and have no desire to join the Church with a heart to serve where needed. Year after year I would watch as people would come and go with no sense of commitment to be a part of a local body of believers.
Every Christian is a member of the universal Church (Romans 12:5) once one believes in Jesus Christ they are part of the Body. What about being a member of a local body though? Is that not also important? Well absolutely it is important! Hebrews 10:25 says to not forsake assembling together, a verse used by many to show the importance of gathering together with like minded believers. Now some might argue and indeed some do argue that no where in scripture does it say you have to take membership at a Church. Well if your looking for a verse or verses that specifically say you must join the membership of a Church, then your probably not going to find that directly. However we have to keep in mind the context of the first century Church, there was no need for a membership roll because anyone who came to Christ would now face some form of persecution not to mention they would have been in close fellowship with those leading these first Churches being started and they would have known those who identified as part of that local body of believers. Also the importance of accountability comes into the picture here, if Pastors, Evangelists and Teachers were given as gifts to the body, how could they lead and teach those who were not submitted and committed to that local Church body.
Today it is very common to find many who profess to be believers yet they have not committed to being a part of a local body of Christ or submitted to the authority of that local body. By not being a member they can come and go as they please without any type of accountability and when someone needs Church discipline they can easy just leave without receiving any.
I do believe that we have a real problem when someone professes to be a believer in Jesus Christ yet has no desire to join a local Church membership.
Another importance in membership is showing others you identify with the beliefs of that local Church and that you stand committed to them. Again failing to be a member of a local Church says much about a person spiritually and is truly concerning.
Are you one who just passes through or are you committed to a local body of believers in Church membership.
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