What is “meaningful membership”?

9Marks

“Meaningful membership” means four things:

What are some other reasons to join a church?

9Marks

In addition to the New Testament’s teaching that every Christian should submit to a local church and its leaders (see Matt. 18:15-20, Heb. 13:17), there are many other good reasons to join a church:

According to Scripture, why should every Christian join a church?

9Marks

Every Christian should join a church because Scripture requires it. Granted, there is no direct command in Scripture that says, “Every Christian must join a local church,” but two factors in Scripture indicate that every Christian should be a member of a local church.

Where do we see church membership in the New Testament?

9Marks
Matthew 18:15-17: "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault…if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you…If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” The ability to exclude someone from “the church” presupposes that it’s known who belongs to “the church” as a member in the first place.

Is church membership biblical?

9Marks

The highest moral laws in the secular west today are toleration and non-judgmentalism. The very ideas of inclusion and exclusion in any context make people think of elitism, xenophobia, or racism.

Still, church membership is an idea with deep biblical roots:

Book Review: What to Do When You Don’t Want to Go to Church, by Peggy Palau and Peggy Sue Wells

Review by Mike McKinley | 03.05.2010

We need more than a call to just go back to church; we need to give ourselves to understanding what the church is, and then commit to building such a body.

Book Review: Membership Matters, by Chuck Lawless

Review by Owen Strachan | 03.05.2010

For its focus on membership and involvement, Lawless’s book is a significant help in directing a church toward a more biblical polity.

Book Review: It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian, by Tod E. Bolsinger

Review by John Folmar | 03.05.2010

This book stumbles as it pits “community,” and particularly the observance of the Lord’s Supper, against sound doctrine.

Book Review: Stealing Sheep, by William Chadwick

Review by Greg Gilbert | 03.05.2010

Chadwick’s book is a marvelous challenge to the widespread problem of Christian mobility.

Book Review: Franchising McChurch, by Thomas White and John Yeats

Review by Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: Multi-site Churches | 03.02.2010

White and Yeats offer an alternative and excellent course for our generation. Yet I wonder if we still have the ability to recognize healthy food from junk food.

Book Review: The Transforming Community, by Mark Lauterbach

Review by Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: Church Discipline (Part 1) | 03.02.2010

If you’re not careful, Lauterbach’s book just might cause a paradigm shift in how you think about grace and the gospel, as well as how you think about the church.

Book Review: Discipline with Care, by Steven McQuoid

Review by Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: Church Discipline (Part 1) | 03.02.2010

Discipline with Care is a good book on church discipline that will strengthen churches by promoting their holy witness.

Book Review: Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be), by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck

Review by Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: Cooperation | 03.02.2010

Emergents, I plead with you, please read those aspects of the book carefully and with open hearts.

Book Review: The Rabbit and the Elephant: Why Small Is the New Big for Today’s Church, by Tony Dale and George Barna

Review by Aaron Menikoff | 9Marks Journal: A New Evangelical Liberalism | 03.01.2010

Though The Rabbit and the Elephant is about the church, there is little explanation of what the church is beyond a series of interconnected relationships.

Pastors’ and Theologians’ Forum on Corporate Witness

By A. Mohler, J. D. Greear, J. Folmar, P. Newton, T. Anyabwile | 9Marks Journal: The Church's Mission | 03.01.2010

Our churches can give the gospel a black eye, or they can be used by the Holy Spirit with magnetic effect to draw people to Jesus.