A Biblical Understanding of Church Membership

Mark VI: A Biblical Understanding of Church Membership
(Used by permission. Go to www.9Marks.org for complete version)
I. Membership is a commitment

  • By identifying ourselves with a particular church, we let pastors and other members know that we intend to be committed in attendance, giving, prayer, and service; we increase other’s expectations of us in these areas
  • We assure the church of our commitment to Christ in serving with them, and we call for their commitment to serve us in love and to encourage us in our discipleship
II. Membership is a responsibility

  • We must not forsake our regular assembling (Heb.10:25)
  • It must be the reflection of a living commitment, or it is worthless, and worse than worthless, it is dangerous
III. Membership is a corporate testimony to Salvation

  • Uninvolved members confuse both real members and non-Christians about what it means to be a Christian; the Church simply is unable to affirm whether uninvolved people are Christians
  • Membership in a church is that church’s corporate testimony to the individual member’s salvation
IV. Meaningful Membership

  • Membership calls for real discipleship; it is made up not of individual experiences alone, but of corporate affirmations by those in covenant with God and with each other
  • Membership calls for more than being ‘members’ in name; it means a renewed commitment to the life of the church and being instructed and encouraged in the faith
V. Benefits of Membership

  • It will make our witness to non-Christians more clear
  • It will make it more difficult for weaker sheep to go straying from the fold, while still considering themselves sheep
  • It will help to give shape and focus to the discipleship of more mature Christians
  • It will aid our church leaders in knowing exactly who they are responsible for
  • In all of this, God will be glorified
Church membership means being incorporated in practical ways into the body of Christ. It means traveling together as aliens and strangers in this world as we head to our heavenly home. Certainly another mark of a healthy church is a biblical understanding of church membership.