What does it mean to be a member of a church?
Is there really any reason to become a member of a church?
Is it okay to not join a church and go to several different ones consistently?
Are there any real benefits of plugging in to a local church body?
What are some characteristics of a healthy church?
What makes you a “good” member of a church?
To Think About
When it comes to being a Christian, are you a Consumer or a Contributor?
Are you currently helping the church to grow more Christ-like (healthy)?
Are there things you can do to be a more helpful, encouraging member of the body?
When we came back from the group time, we had quite a bit of discussion about what the questions meant by “the church” (local body). We worked our way through that, as well as discussing why a small group Bible study or active involvement in a parachurch organization is not a replacement for the church (Biblical leadership structure, accountability, church discipline, etc). This is in no way a condemnation of parachurch organizations, for they do play a roll in teaching and reaching the lost. And we should be a part of a small group Bible study, in order to grow in a deeper understanding of our faith as well as to build relationships with others that can help encourage us and keep us accountable.
Coming out of that discussion, we focused on Romans 12:3-21.
- We are the body of Christ
- We have been given different gifts to aid the body of Christ
- We are commanded to love other members of the body
The importance of church membership cannot be understated. We are commanded by Scripture to not stop meeting together as Christians (Hebrews 10:25). We are instructed in how to set up the structure of the church (1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1), so it is evident that we are meant to be a part of it. We are told how we should use our gifts within the church as well as outside the church, in order to bring God glory.
Scripture References (used in talk and in the preparation):
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
1 Corinthians 12:12-31
1 Timothy 3