What are the benefits of meaningful membership in churches to non-Christians outside the church?
Churches that practice meaningful membership by taking care to ensure that only repentant believers belong to the church serve non-Christians outside the church in several ways:
- They give non-Christians a clearer picture of the Christian life. The Christian life is not about perfection, but it is about fighting against sin. It’s about repentance.
- They give non-Christians a clearer picture of Christ. Christians who strive to love one another in holiness show that they are Christ’s disciples, and therefore what Christ is like (John 13:34-35).
- They teach non-Christians about the incredible power of God as the church demonstrates a loving unity in spite of worldly differences like age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and more.
- They teach non-Christians about God’s holy love. As Christians forgive, love, instruct, rebuke, and sacrifice themselves for one another, non-Christians see a picture of God’s own holy love, a love that invites every non-Christian to turn from his sins, trust in Christ, and be reconciled to God.
- They remove non-Christians’ excuse for not trusting in Christ. Weak and unhealthy churches which profess Christ’s name but live like the world teach non-Christians that Christianity is a lie, and give non-Christians an excuse for remaining in their rebellion. Healthy churches remove this excuse.