Why Church Membership? No other church has asked me to be a member. Why do you?
I was rather surprised by that question, but after talking to other pastors, I found that it is true that some churches do not have membership. For me, it is what Jesus told his disciples that He would do. He would build His church and the gates of hell would not stand against it (Matthew 16:18).
Jesus’ design is a community called the church which reflects Him and His teaching. Discipleship is not an individual thing. It is a corporate thing. It involves individual disciples but those disciples are committed to one another in love so that all men will know we are Jesus’ disciples.
Relationships are highly valued by Jesus. Relationships are damaged and even destroyed by unforgiveness. It is in the context of a broken relationship that Jesus invokes a procedure that calls for confronting sin and forgiveness. Here is what Jesus teaches
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15–17)
Notice the underlying assumption, both brothers are in the church and ultimately the church determines the outcome if restoration cannot be accomplished. If there is no local church membership this commandment from Jesus could not be accomplished.
This is just one of the reasons for church membership.
If you want to talk about this subject, call me at (209) 986-7366 on my cell phone and mention the website. If you prefer to discuss via email, just click on contact in the menu and send me a message.
Thanks for reading, Pastor Theo.