Why Become a Church Member?
by Todd Perkins
This is a really healthy question for any follower of Jesus to think through. As you approach membership with our church, we want to provide you with 3 reasons to join any church. The goal of membership is not for a church to get bigger, but for God’s kingdom to advance in the world, and for you, as a member of God’s kingdom, to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered in the gospel.
Reason #1 - To Strengthen your faith.
Paul says to Timothy, “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:1@2) Paul encouraged Timothy to find strength in “the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” We understand this grace to be a reference towards the gospel itself. We discover increasing strength for our faith as we are encouraged by the work of Christ for us. Paul suggests that strength comes from hearing about the gospel within a community of people who are engaged in the faith and teaching one another about the faith. We think of that community as a church family. For this reason, identifying formally as part of a church works to strengthen your faith.
Reason # 2 - To Find and Give Encouragement
Life gets hard. When it does, we need daily reminders of God’s love, grace, mercy, provision, and concern for us. We need good news, not just good advice. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23@25) It is in the context of a faith community, committed to the gospel and one another, that we find deep and powerful encouragement. By making your intentions clear about church membership, you put yourself in a place where gospel-centered encouragement is expected.
Reason #3 - We are Better Together
When it comes to living out our faith in response to the gospel, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9@12) Sure, you can try to follow Christ all by yourself, but you’re only making it that more challenging and much less rewarding. Additionally, Romans 12 speaks of the unique and diverse gifting of each member of the church adding value, strengths, and capacity for the church to function in a helpful way.
There are more reasons to be a member but for now, these three will suffice as an introduction. We want you to become a member with us and join us as we discover, demonstrate, and declare the gospel.
Please continue to follow our teaching on membership throughout the month of January. If you miss the Sunday message, you can find it on iTunes or at podcast.eastnorthchurch.com