Often people raise many questions about church membership:
- What defines church membership?
- Is church membership required?
- What are the benefits associated with membership?
- What are the obligations required for members?
- How does one become a member?
The answers to these questions are provided in the section titled, "How To Become A Member".
Some suggest that there are two churches; the church universal and the local church.
- The church universal is that church Jesus promised to build (Matthew 16:18). It is referred to as the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). There is only one body, or church (Ephesians 4:4). This one body is composed of individual members (Romans 12:4-5); 1 Corinthians 12:27). The universal church is composed of all Christians with Jesus Christ as the head. Those who are in this Church are saved as Christ is the Savior of the body (Ephesians 5:23). They also enjoy spiritual blessings which are found in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). These blessings include forgiveness of sins, privileges of prayer, and blessings now and in the future (Hebrews 4:14-16). Members are required to remain connected to Christ (John 15:1-8). They are to do their part in the body (Ephesians 4:15-16). They are to fulfill whatever function they are able (Romans 12:4-8). They are to love everybody (1Peter 2:17).
- The local church is typically a group of Christians who meet in an organized setting to carry on the work of Christ in a specific community with global impacts (1Thessalonians 1:1). There are many local churches Romans 16:16; Galatians 1:2). Membership in the local church is determined by each local church. There are privileges associated with membership in local churches as there is in the universal church. There is mutual comfort from a family of Christians (Romans 15:1); strength from mature Christians (Romans 15:1); prayers from the assembly (James 5:14-16); and a network of caring friends from a spiritual family (Mark 10:28-30; 1Timothy 5:1-2). Members should help one another (Galatians 6:2); exhort one another (Hebrews 3:12-14); assemble together (Hebrews 10: 24-25); serve one another (1Peter 4:10-11); and care for one another (1Thesalonians 5:11-15). While membership in the church universal is necessary for salvation; membership in the local church is needed for spiritual growth and service. Local church membership enables one to strengthen his/her conviction to serve Christ through, among and with fellow Christians and seek those who have not yet been saved.
While membership in the church universal is necessary for salvation; membership in the local church is needed for spiritual growth and service. Local church membership enables one to strengthen his/her conviction to serve Christ through, among and with fellow Christians and seek those who have not yet been saved.