Ten Reasons NOT to Become a Church Member

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Sometimes I feel woefully inadequate persuading good-for-nothing-brick types to join a local church through positive arguments. For this post I decided to try the reverse psychology approach with ten good reasons why someone would NOT want to join a local church.

One, you should not become a church member if you do not want your profession of faith in Jesus to be evaluated and deemed credible or not by a body of believers charged with determining, with God’s help, who really does belong to the King as opposed to who might just be fooling himself (Matt. 7:21-23).

Two, you should not become a church member if want to avoid any of the inevitable “one another” commitments of the New Testament that find their fullest and best expression in covenant community (John 13:14).

Three, you should not become a church member if you think participation in the ordinary means of grace – the preached word and the sacraments – are somehow optional in the Christian life (Heb. 10:24-25).

Four, you should not become a church member if you want to maintain complete control over your finances such that you feel no obligation to support the local ministry from which you receive ministry and experience community (Gal. 6:6).

Five, you should not become a church member if any of the idols of your heart have such a grasp upon you that you fear exposure by rubbing shoulders more intimately with other members of the body of Christ (Heb. 3:12-13).

Six, you should not become a church member if the idea of submitting to anyone’s authority gives you the willies and that you might be held accountable to the commitments covenant members make as a part of church membership (Matt. 18:15-20).

Seven, you should not become a church member if you prefer to sit on the sidelines of the church and bury your gifts in the ground for fear of the what the Lord might require of you in terms of ministering to others (1 Pet. 4:10-11).

Eight, you should not become a church member if the tyranny of busyness so controls you that you can’t imagine fitting another thing, no matter how important, into your schedule (Eph. 5:16).

Nine, you should not become a church member if the only world that concerns you is within your own four walls and that obeying a commission to take the gospel to the unreached people groups of the world and/or the folks where you live, work, and play don’t register on the radar screen of your life (Matt. 28:18-20).

Ten, you should not become a church member if you don’t want to belong to the one entity God has ordained to put His glorious plan and purposes on display before all things invisible (Eph. 3:10).

A Crucial Question About Church Membership

That would be how long should someone attend a church before deciding to commit to covenant membership?

Good question. And a pertinent one for the twenty or more folks currently working their way through the latest edition of Discover OGC.

I came across this post by Brian Croft on his blog Practical Shepherding. He asks some other strategic questions that ought to come into play in determining the answer to the timing question. These include:

  1. Is this a church where my family will be regularly fed by God’s Word?
  2. Is this a church where I am convinced the care of my soul will be a priority?
  3. Is this a church where my family will experience meaningful Christian fellowship and accountability?
  4. Is this a church where I can serve God’s people and use my gifts for its benefit?

He concludes most wisely, I think, with this:

There is one essential element that must exist in this process.  It is the key to possessing the zeal required in this search.  That is, a constant feeling of uneasiness that should exist in you knowing you and your family are not in covenant fellowship with a local church and are not under the authority of undershepherds caring for your souls.  The freedom and absence of accountability many experience in the search for a new church can cause a sinful complacency.  In other words, you do not ever want to become comfortable being one of God’s sheep who has wandered away from the fellowship of the flock and the accountability of shepherds to care for you, even if that journey at the time feels fun and exciting.

To read the entire post click here.

Pray with me that the folks investigating our church at the present time will know from the Lord the answer to these and 0ther crucial questions in their church for a church home.

6 Reasons to Be a Faithful Member of a Local Church

A friend of mine in ministry posted a link on Facebook to an article about church membership.

I am so grateful for over twenty-five folks in this fall’s edition of Discover OGC! I am looking forward tomorrow to sharing with them about the doctrines of grace.

Here is #3 of the reasons in this post:

You become a more committed part of a spiritual family. Joining a local church demonstrates a certain level of commitment. It shows that you want to be more than a bystander, that you want to be involved in ministry in a more significant way. Joining a local church is like entering into a covenant relationship with other believers in order to love them as an active part of a spiritual family (1 Jn 4:7). We also need the spiritual oversight and soul care of faithful shepherds (Heb 13:17).

I couldn’t agree more. You can read the entire piece here.