Why Join a Church?

July 30, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Posted in Q&A | 6 Comments
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Question: Do I need to “join a church?” In other words, why would I even consider becoming a “member” when I can attend church without it?

Answer: I don’t know of a Bible verse that says “thou shalt have thy name officially added unto a local church’s membership list.” However, I think the reason we don’t see a command like that is because it would have been almost unthinkable for the men that the Holy Spirit used to write the Bible that someone would become a part of the body of Christ, and then NOT join a local church assembly. The Bible doesn’t command church membership in explicit terms, because it implicitly ASSUMES it for Christians.

Read Hebrews 13:17 and I Peter 5:2 and I Corinthians 1:2 and 5:12 and Philippians 1:1 and Acts 8:1– just to cite a few examples – and you will see the necessity of placing yourself under the authority of local church leadership. How is a pastor supposed to determine who is and who is not a part of the “flock” if people refuse to formally commit? Even in the Old Testament the people of God were listed formally in order to keep track of who was a part of the family of faith. (See Psalm 87:6.)

Additionally, the principles of submission, accountability, relationship, church discipline, and identification as the bride of Christ are all key reasons for joining a local church.

Responsibility in Church

May 13, 2013 at 10:44 am | Posted in C.H.U.R.C.H. | 6 Comments
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The “R” in C.H.U.R.C.H. is for “Responsibilty.” There are great privileges that come with being part of a church. But there are also great responsibilities.

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

I Timothy 3:15 (emphasis added)

Christians should not be hypocrites. A hypocrite is someone who acts completely different in church from the way he acts outside of church. However, we do need to watch how we behave in church. Church is not a place where “anything goes.”

Let all things be done decently and in order.

I Corinthians 14:4

What are some things you would do outside of church that are not sinful, but that you should not do in church? When I go to the park to have a good time, I am free to run, yell, throw things, make a mess, speak loudly and freely. I might even dress in a way that allows me to sweat and have some freedom of movement. But church is a place where these things are rightly restricted. And it is a place where you do need to take special care about what you wear. Modesty and appropriateness in dress is important everywhere, but it is especially important in church.

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

I Timothy 4:12

If you are a young person, don’t give people at church a reason to excuse your bad behavior by saying, “He’s just a kid, what do you expect?” Don’t give anyone a reason to dislike you for being young. You need to watch older men and older ladies in church, depending on your own gender. Mark how they behave and follow their examples.

T.K.O. Your Pastor (#2)

April 15, 2010 at 10:45 am | Posted in Bible Studies | 4 Comments
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T.K.O. =

T.rust your pastor.
K.now your pastor.
O.bey your pastor.

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Hebrews 13:17

Obedience is important for the health of the body, and for unity – being of one mind – in one accord. If you are a member of a local body of believers, don’t be a Willow-Creek, Purpose-Driven, transitioning “change agent.” The Bible says to “submit” to authority. Submission is not grudging obedience. It is not a false “show” of obedience until you can change the mind of the authority. The only time for disobedience to your spiritual leader is if he is acting contrary to the Word of God. Do not analyze every move the pastor makes with an eye toward picking him apart. Be forgiving of mistakes. Distinguish between mistakes and intentional harm.

When you can not submit to your pastor because he is being disobedient to the Word, tell him plainly. If he will not hear the truth, it is permissible to leave that church. But, while he is acting with integrity and obedience toward the Bible: trust, know, and obey your pastor.

T.K.O. your pastor with T.L.C.

And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

I Thessalonians 5:13

The flock will honor the pastor by being at peace.

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

James 4:1

That verse is talking about the “members” of your body, but in church we are the “members” of the body of Christ. When my members fight – when my stomach sends food up instead of taking it down – what does that do to my head? It aches.

To be at peace with each other, and to T.K.O. the pastor, we have got to practice T.L.C.:

T.rust each other.
L.ove each other.
C.are for each other.

Trust each other.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7:20

This verse is often misused. Fruits should be open and obvious. Too many Christians are professional “fruit-checkers.” If we have a salvation testimony, and we are working together in ministry, I’m going to treat you like you are a “brother” or “sister.” That does not mean I will hesitate to give you the Gospel, but for the sake of our pastor, we need to “trust” each other – until we’ve got a legitimate reason not to trust someone.

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 4:12

If you want to please your pastor, show that you are using what he has given you. The sermons preached by the pastor are not toys to play with. They are not weapons to fight each other with. They are tools to build with.

T.rust each other.
L.ove each other.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Romans 12:10

Don’t insist on “me first” like kids fighting for the best seat in the family van. Love says, “You go first.” There’s freedom in that kind of love. The Bible has much to say about love. Two surprising groups of people are singled out for love in Scripture: your neighbors and your enemies (Matthew 5:43 – 44) – possibly because they’re often the same people!

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

Matthew 5:46

T.rust each other.
L.ove each other.
C.are for each other.

If you want to show your pastor how much he’s loved, and how much he’s appreciated, start caring for others. Who do I care for? Anybody who needs it – especially widows and orphans.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

James 1:27

Encourage single mothers. Encourage people whose spouses won’t come to church to “not be weary in well-doing” (Galatians 6:9).

Trust, know, and obey your pastor by trusting, loving, and caring for, each other.

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