We are always using key words in the church and community as to the desire of the Body of Christ from God's Word. Let's look at principle #1.....Connecting: The Church is a Family.
"So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Acts 2:41-42
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, a Family, with God as our Father. Believers should love, support, and encourage one another under the Heavenly Father. Church membership is about people not procedure. Is there a clear path to connect with the body of Christ? There should be! We should work on expanding our family every year.
Principle #2.......Connecting: The Church is the Body of Christ
Paul writes to the Romans 12:4-5: “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” We need to understand that there are members with different gifts here. God has placed us here together to accomplish His purpose as a church."
God expects us to join a church. Rick Warren writes in the Purpose Driven Life that “you are called to belong, not just to believe” and that “God does not call anyone to be orphans.” "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household," Ephesians 2:19
”household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15
There is a connection for the believer in the community you are called to: the Body of Christ. God designed us to be social beings, ones who desire fellowship. God noticed when He created Adam He said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” In Ephesians, Paul writes about the church, the body of Christ being together many times to show that believers are to be together. It is simple, if you want to live a healthy Christian lifestyle, then you need to be a part of a healthy Christian church.
Principle #3: Joining a church should have responsibilities: Growth and Ministry
Commitment to Christ and commitment to growth and ministry. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;” Ephesians 5:25 Christ died for the church and we in turn should have the same commitment. Each one of us should be committed to growth and ministry. As you join this fellowship of believers, that should be a statement that you should commit to.
"....not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:25
First of all, as we meet together and worship each week, we should never forsake that, like others Paul talks about, but it is to be encouraging when we do meet. A Christian is not to forsake the times we meet as a body of Christ, because we worship our Lord "together" and that practice encourages us.
Second, we are to be accountable to each in our Christian walk. If someone is missing each week, we should find out why they are missing because we are concerned with a missing family member. We totally let this fall through the cracks many times. It's not like the FBI or CIA kind of missing, but in care and concern that someone missed meeting with the Lord in a body of believers that week. You cant be accountable to those that you do not see from week to week.
So we see that membership should have its responsibilities as we are to CONNECT to the family of God to the community of Christ and that we need to commit to growth and ministry!!
God Bless, Sleepy Disciple