How important is church membership?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jaaaman, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Jaaaman

    Jaaaman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello good people. I am now attending a non-denominational Bible church that does not have an official 'Church Membership'. They state in their policies statement that 'A persons attendance at the church is their membership'. I'm wondering how others here feel about a church policy such as this. I like this church and feel much more at ease there than I did at the Baptist Church that I am a member of.

    Thoughts?

    God bless,
    Jason
     
  2. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,083
    Likes Received:
    218
    The church policy brings up many questions. First, would attendence at one service make you a member? Would non attendence for 10 years mean you are no longer a member? Who is allowed to vote at business meetings (if you even have them), are there age limits for voting? Suppose there is a lawsuit against the church memership -...

    I Cor "let all things be done decently and in order...

    Salty
     
  3. Jaaaman

    Jaaaman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is no official 'church membership'.

    Our church has several deacons and 2 pastors that act as a governing body for the church.
     
  4. mcdirector

    mcdirector
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    8,292
    Likes Received:
    10
    Do they have a specific length of time that you have to attend before you can do certain things? (like be a deacon, take other leadership roles -- committees, teach, etc.) I'm just curious because usually membership precludes those things.

    Personally, I like membership because it's a committment.
     
  5. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    Follow the money trail. How are the people who handle the money selected?
     
  6. Dustin

    Dustin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nah, I don't believe you HAVE to be a member of a local church, but in some cases it's helpful.
     
  7. Jaaaman

    Jaaaman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    They are employed by the church, I think.
     
  8. drfuss

    drfuss
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    This sounds like a pastor owned and run church. I suspect the pastor appoints all deacons, etc. One problem is that if the pastor goes bad, so does the church.
     
  9. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    A church may not have a membership roll, but what do you bet that there's a list somewhere at some level.

    Sunday school teachers have a list, I suspect. Deacons probably have some kind of list. You think there's a mailing list somewhere?

    I don't know why the church in the OP doesn't have a member roll. I get the feeling sometimes that modern churches, in their desire to break free of old traditions, simply make decisions like this: Oh, those old churches had membership rolls, so we won't.
     
  10. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,879
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually the membership role is a recognition by the church of those that they have recognized as belonging to the body of Christ and are currently serving Him in that particular local assembly. It effects who can take part in the decisions and direction of the church. I wonder if the pastor is officially" ordained with a document from a church? Why have any documentation if membership rolls are out the door. It wopuld be inconsistent if the motive behind such a move was based on not needing recognition from the church to be a member.

    It is rather dangerous as lost wolves can sneak into the congregation and reak all kinds of havoc.
     
  11. Psalm 95

    Psalm 95
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    0
    For the moment I can not give a detailed argument, but I think that while you can be a christian without a church, i think church membership is very important in a good christian life.

    I think the word accountable is the key. If you are official member of a church you are responsible for the church and the chuch are responsible for you.

    Also church membership sorts who is a christian and who is not. I would say that in when churches has real growth this is important. When the fatih is not burning many would feel this is no longer a burning question, but it is.

    I would say church membership is one of the important things in being a baptist.
     
  12. Link

    Link
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Messages:
    695
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't believe in formal church membership because it is not scriptural. If someone else is in Christ and attends the assembly, they are a part of the church. What is formal membership for, spiritually? If someone is not a member, should we exclude them for communion? We run the risk of not rightly regarding the body of Christ, a grevious sin. Paul rebuked Peter for not eating with certain men in their gatherings.

    If someone is called a brother and is not a formal member, do we neglect the responsibility to correct them, rebuke them if they sin, and withdraw from them if they do not repent? Some churches only exercise church discipline on members. Is it right to allow the non-formal-member to eat with you and keep company with you if he is a fornicator?

    Formal church membership is an unbiblical concept that creates all kinds of excuses for disobeying scripture. Add to that that many churches require a member to agree to a list of doctrinal statements which are not always in line with scripture. Furthermore, we are supposed to fellowship with brethren who have different opinions on things in accordance with Romans 14, and not exclude brethren based on matters of opinion that are not sinful.

    Formal church membership enforces a wrong concept of doctrine. It teaches that you become a part of a church by agreeing to a set of guidelines, rather than the Biblical concept that we became a part of Christ's church by what Jesus did on the cross and in our hearts, and the teaching to assemble with the brethren.

    From another point of view, formal church members may provide legal protection for a church. If the church confronts someone who refuses to repent in a meeting, the potential legal ramifications may be less if that person is a member. But we should not use such issues as an excuse to compromise Biblical principles.
     
    #12 Link, Jul 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2007
  13. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    0
    Church membership is not described in Scripture. Biblically, I have a big problem with most church membership systems as they exist now.

    For instance, many church congregations will not admit a genuine believer in Jesus Christ if s/he has not been baptized properly but cannot be convinced of this. They then treat the committed attender as a `second class' part of the congregation.

    Others will discourage a genuine believer if s/he does not believe this tenet or that tenet. This person will always be treated like a guest even if s/he is committed to that congregation.

    I believe both such systems, and any like them, are wrong. Any membership system that would exclude any Christians and force them to remain in a lower caste is contrary to Scripture.

    However, I do believe that there should be a system by which a congregation knows what Christian attenders have committed to regularly meeting with them and supporting the congregation's business. This way, a person who has recently started coming and still undecided about hanging around never influences decisions that affect the congregation long-term. Also, the congregation knows which attending Christians to turn to when there is a need.
     
    #13 Darron Steele, Jul 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2007

Share This Page

Loading...