Biblically speaking, the church consists of those whom God has called out of the world and drawn to Himself through Christ. The universal church, which consists of every person past, present, and future whom God calls to Himself, is expressed tangibly through local church bodies that extend around the world. Belonging to the body of Christ, the church, is more important and meaningful than belonging to any other group. It makes us part of a family.
Although there is no Bible verse that commands church membership, when we look at the evidence, it's clear that being a member of a local church is understood and assumed. Ephesians 5:29-30 says, " For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of His body."
In Ephesians 4:1-8, Paul is calling the people back to Psalm 68. Verse 8 says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." The essence of the psalm is that a military victor has the right to give gifts to those who are identified with him. Ephesians 4:7 gives understanding of how the God gives gifted believers to the church. Ephesians 4:11-12 says, "And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ. To equip means to mend, repair, to set bones, or to make something or someone completely adequate or sufficient for something.
Every gift is given to serve somebody else, and when you serve, you bless others. You are a saint, and you have gifts to offer the body of Christ in your church family. Don't believe the lie that you are too old, too young, too inexperience, or that you've already done your part. God put you in this family of believers for a reason. As a church family, we are called to protect the Bride (the church), so church membership is essential to serve. Don't be distracted by other "good" things. Make serving in your church a priority!
For more information on church membership at Carmel, go HERE.
For more information on serving at Carmel, go HERE.
Questions to discuss:
- Where have you served in the past at a church? How did you impact that ministry?
- Who has made a difference in your life as they have served in your church?
- If you could serve anywhere at Carmel right now, where would it be?
- Why is church membership important? Are you a member of Carmel? Why or why not?