Membership is often misunderstood, misapplied or not applied at all. The word “member” in the Bible is more closely related to the medical word “member” than it is to the common cultural term. As an example, some of you who are reading this may have lost a finger or toe in an accident. On that unfortunate day, you were dismembered. That’s the actual technical terminology. A member of your body was separated from the body. That is a tragic thing. Yet today in Western culture, being separated from the body of believers is not tragic. It’s almost normal. It is almost understood that Christians and churches should be separated. Lone Ranger Christians are common.
Why then do we have membership? Regardless of how the culture sees it or Christians misunderstand it, membership is not simply an opportunity to say, “I’m a part of a club”, but rather a scriptural expression of covenant connectedness to a church. God makes us a part of his larger family when we are born again! But then we should participate in a covenant with a local body and live in community with them, agreeing to live by certain established godly principles and standards.
Membership doesn’t save us, but it enables us to grow and become spiritually mature in Christ. Not only should we be members of the body, but each of us should also be able to express this value of membership to others.