In the broadest sense, church membership is simply citizenship in Christ’s kingdom. Every kingdom has a territory and every kingdom has citizens to inhabit the land and establish and uphold the king’s rule. Christ’s kingdom is a territory that fills the earth by those who, through faith, are granted an eternal citizenship and who reign and rule with Christ, bringing the things that are true of Heaven to earth.
Synonymous with heavenly citizenship is the Church. The historical, global Church is a people made of every tribe, tongue, and nation. And, within that Church are many churches—smaller, local communities of people bound by commitment to Christ and to one another who gather together in worship and celebration of Jesus, and who are committed to the ongoing pursuit of maturity in Christ.
The “Why” of membership is not disconnected from one of the many “Whats” of membership describing the Church. In Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12, Paul describes the church as “the body of Christ,” and as “one body with many members.” So when we talk about being members of a church, we're not at all borrowing from the idea of membership in a rotary club, Sam's Club, or a local gym. We're not using social language but physiological language, and actually are using terms that are distinctively Christian or Christological.
God has designed and is establishing the body of Christ, his Church, such that everyone who belongs has been named, and every member of that body has been given certain qualities and functions, and without each of those members and their gifts, the body suffers. It’s also true that apart from the body, the individual member suffers.
As local churches establish membership, it is for the reasons stated above. For the local church (or local “body”) to flourish, it must name and know the members, that make up the whole, and commit itself to seeing those members grow in maturity. And for individual Christians to flourish, they, in turn, must name and know the church to which they belong, and commit themselves to seeing that church grow into maturity.
Healthy, maturing, vibrant, truly Christian life for any individual believer is connected, by God’s design, to their proximity and participation in Christ’s Church. And healthy, maturing, vibrant, truly Christian churches, by God’s design, are filled with healthy members.
Healthy, maturing, vibrant, truly Christian life for any individual believer is connected, by God’s design, to their proximity and participation in Christ’s Church. And healthy, maturing, vibrant, truly Christian churches, by God’s design, are filled with healthy members. If you are interested in becoming a member, click the link below.