IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE PART OF A LOCAL CHURCH?
The answer is, I believe it is essential. In a single generation the general attitude to the being part of a local church has changed so dramatically. I concede in the past there may have been some degree of legalism, but the basis of our commitment to the local church was genuine and sincere.
What has caused the change ? There was little Sunday sport (or marathons) 50 years ago, there was no social media, life was so different then. I don’t think we had much teaching on membership really, we just wanted to be committed member.
Commitment wasn’t once a day either, today being regular in church can be once a fortnight or even once a month, I saw an article today, about someone “regularly” attending church quarterly!!!!!!
Some people treat church like a restaurant, and complain about the “poor preaching” and people literally leave a church because “they aren’t being fed”. As believers we MUST learn to feed ourselves, the Sunday sermon, should that lovely “extra” weekly spiritual food. You cannot live on one sermon a week.
As church is made up of many different types of people, many people leave because they have been “hurt” the reality is whatever church you attend there is potential of hurt, as there is if you are part of any organisation. It has been said, that if you leave a church because you have been hurt, your faith was in people not in God.
There are very few reasons why a person leaves a church, employment in another area for example. Some people leave a church because they disagree with some teaching. We cannot set ourselves up as Theologians, we must agree on the essentials, and maintain liberty on the non-essentials.
Others leave because they do not want to submit to the Leadership, it is God’s plan that we become part of a local church and be accountable to the leadership. Submission to God’s delegated authorities has become a dirty word.
Our first level of membership MUST be as born again believers in the Body of Christ, joining a local church if you are not saved WILL NOT give you entrance into heaven.
The Psalmist says (92:13) we need to be PLANTED in the church, Paul says we need to be set (like concrete in the church (I Cor.12:18).
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES OF PRACTICAL CHURCH MEMBERSHIP?
1. Security, being part of a local church family can give us protection from the “wolves”.
2. Fellowship, and a sense of belonging.
3. Spiritual nourishment of the Word.
4. Discipline and correction if necessary.
5. Ministry of life and healing and health by members of the Body.
6.Communion Table life
7. Love and concern in a practical way by the Oversight
(Taken from “principles of church life” class City Bible church Portland Oregon USA
A disciple of Christ MUST be part of a local church, the reality is
WE NEED EACH OTHER.
Let us say with the Psalmist (122:1) I WAS GLAD WHEN THEY SAID UNTO ME, LET US GO INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.
I encourage you to go to church this weekend excited about the privilege we have of being port of a local church. Go to give, not for the reason of receiving, and you will come away so blessed and refreshed.