Church Membership
 
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,  so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 
Romans 12:4-5 (NIV)
 
In a time when commitment is a rare commodity, it should come as no surprise that church membership is a low priority for many believers. Sadly, it is not uncommon for Christians to move from church to church, never committing themselves to a group of fellow believers. 
 
To neglect to join a church as a formal member reflects a misunderstand of the believer’s responsibility to the body of Christ. It also cuts one off from the many blessings and opportunities that flow from this commitment. It is essential for every Christian to understand what church membership is and why it matters. 
The Definition of Church Membership
When an individual is saved, he becomes a member of the body of Christ (1Cor. 12:13). Because he is united to Christ and the other members of the body in this way, he is therefore qualified to become a member of a local expression of that body.
 
Church membership is a formal relationship between a local church and a Christian characterized by the church’s affirmation and oversight of a Christian’s discipleship and the Christian’s submission to living out his or her discipleship in the care of the church. 
Why does church membership matter?
Mark Dever, in his book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, writes,
 
Church membership is our opportunity to grasp hold of each other in responsibility and love. By identifying ourselves
with a particular church, we let the pastors and other member of that local church know that we intend to be committed
in attendance, giving, prayer, and service. We allow fellow believers to have great expectations of us in these areas, and
we make it known that we are the responsibility of this local church. We assure the church of our commitment to Christ
in serving with them, and we call for their commitment to serve and encourage us as well. 
 
Church membership is a covenant between the church and the believer in which both commit themselves, their resources, their gifts, and their service to help the group of believers as whole steward their relationship with God. 
 
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