Published 10:32 am Wednesday, February 15, 2017
“I believe in Jesus, but I’m not a fan of organized religion.” Or, how about, “I can worship God when I go out fishing on my boat. I don’t need to go to church.”
I’m a pastor. So I will put my cards on the table and admit that I have a vested interest in people thinking fondly of church. But, I also am convinced that many who claim to be living within the realm of a Christian worldview are adopting views of the church that are antithetical to Jesus.
I am going to write a series of articles for the next several months that deal with the church. We are going to attempt to answer seven questions.
What is the church?
Why should we cherish the church?
How can we cheapen the church?
Who are the people of the church?
Is church membership biblical?
What are the prerequisites and responsibilities of members?
When is it proper to leave an area church?
While I have a Baptist slant on some of the answers to these questions, I will do my best to answer these questions with different church government structures of different denominations in mind. But I will ultimately do my best to answer these questions using the Bible. You may disagree with me here and there, but I hope the reader walks away having a greater appreciation for the church and being an active member of a church. If you are not a Christian, I hope you will still engage in these articles so you can better understand what the assembling of followers of Jesus is supposed to look like, not the imperfect examples that you see in every church.
As we answer these questions, I want to remind the reader that the medium of a newspaper article means we must answer these questions succinctly, not exhaustively. It is my hope that these devotional articles will be the spark to further investigation and deeper conversations about church membership. I intend to whet your appetite; I will not be cooking a full-course meal.
Church membership needs to be meaningful membership. Since Jesus declared, “I will build my church …,” in Matthew 16, let’s embark on a journey to ask the architect what his blueprints are for his church. I would be delighted if you sign up for Membership 101.
Matthew Homan is the pastor of Eureka Baptist Church. His email address is email@example.com.