What does it mean to be a member of a local church?
John Piper gives a succinct answer that pushes against our Western individualistic impulses. Here is how he begins:
What I mean by “member” is somebody who, whether by a signature or a word of commitment or promise, says, “I’m committed to a people, a people who hear the word of God preached, a people who perform the ordinances that Jesus gave to his church (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and a people who commit to the ‘one another’ commandments (love each other, exhort each other, admonish each other, hold each other accountable).”
Those commitments are what membership is. And I think something is wrong if you resist putting your name on the line for that.
If you want to say, “OK, I believe the New Testament says, ‘Be a part of a community, give yourself to ministering there and receiving ministry there, and advancing the cause of the gospel there, and upholding the name of Jesus there, and doing mission there,’ and I’m a part of that,” then to resist putting your name on the line for that is probably not a biblical conviction. It’s probably an American, independent, give-me-elbow-room, don’t-get-in-my-face-too-often conviction, which I don’t think is biblical.
You can read the rest of Pastor John’s answer to the question: Is it important for me to become a member of my local church?
I am thankful for the way God has been breaking down my sinful individualism since the day I joined Woodland Park Baptist Church. I am prayerful that God will continue to conform me into the image of Christ as I do life with the members of his local church.
Being saved from self-centeredness by submitting myself to my brothers and sisters in Christ’s local church, dss