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Members Only

I know a lot of people who are Christians, but don’t belong to a church. They’re tired of the church, they don’t like pastors, they can watch on television from the comfort of their bed/couch/chair…I’ve heard it all. And I’ve said some of it before.

My pastor did a series on this in Bible study and said that while man has an idea of what church is it is quite different from what God established the church to be.

God’s Idea 

*Church is a spiritual necessity

*Interdependence is valued

*Spirituality takes place in community

*Active involvement in social concerns

*Authentic behavior with public and private lives matching

Man’s Idea

*Church is an optional activity

*Our individualism is valued

*Religion is a private matter



Today, I read the following devotional:

“Yesterday, while teaching Bible Study it dawned on me that our membership in a local church is significant. I never thought that membership was an option, but I now see that it is necessary for us to live out our Christian lives. Let’s first understand that the Church universal and the Church local is the Body of Christ. For you to say you love Jesus but cannot stand His Church does not make sense and is an insult to Him. I am aware that pastors, church leaders, and church members have hurt many, and on that note, maybe you have been hurt by me. I am pleading with you to forgive me, every other pastor, church leader, and church member who has ever hurt or disappointed you. Today, pray and ask God to lead you to a pastor and church that you are to join and commit/recommit your life to a local fellowship.”


Do you know of people that won’t join a church for one reason or another? Are you that person? Why haven’t you affiliated yourself with a local body of believers? Thoughts? Comments?





9 thoughts on “Members Only

  1. I grew up in church, literally. My grandmother is a reverend and was assistant pastor. Youth choir, bible camp, concerts-I did it all. Once I was old enough to make my own choices and went away to college, I found that I wasn’t being spiritually fed at my home church. Too many cliques, gossips, fashion shows during the TWO offering collections. While my husband and I have attempted a few services at the local mega church, the church where I grew up, his family church, and the Universalist church, nothing seems to fit. We’re content to read spiritual texts, watch services and documentaries, and seek God independent of the church and organized religion. I read my devotions daily and talk to God regularly, but the church just doesn’t work for us right now.

  2. great topic!! i know what Heb 10:25 says and it’s what Jesus did. i like the outline your pastor gave. i do “church” weekly, but have not made an effort to find a church to become a member of.

  3. I wrote about finding a church recently; it’s very important. Since moving I’ve become a member of 2 churches so far (in 6.5 years(, Membership is important for the reasons your pastor stated, but also for tithing or helping to grow that local church.
    I think people may be burnt out from trying to find a church, but I dont think its a valid reason to not become a member. Once you find a church that meets spiritual and then personal criteria, membership is the next step. Membership signifies commitment to that local body. Also I need the accountability.

  4. I wrote a ridiculously long response to this that I had to delete because it just got to be too much.

    The gist is this – we all find our spiritual connections in different ways and we all interpret god and the bible in different ways. My Pastor Mama interprets things pretty literally for some things (homosexuality), but then on other subjects (teens in the church getting pregnant) she goes wayyy liberal.

    I think a lot of churches I’ve experienced in the south are similar. They seem to assign a degree of “wrong” to what they call sinning. So some “sins” are worse than others.

    I don’t really buy that. I see church as more of a community. People coming together who want the same good – whatever that good may be for them. I get upset with churches when they try to place a value on sin. Like the teen mom is less of a sin than the guy who cheats on his wife which is a greater sin than the person who walked out of Kroger with eggs they didn’t pay for.

    In the end – we all fuck up. And the judgments and the choosing of which “sin” is worse is what keeps me away from organized religion.

    I’d love to find a love-all church. Would be a great place to call our community, especially since Luis and I don’t fit traditional norms. I’d like to find a place we could fellowship freely without the Korean Christians judging us for not being traditional…and the others not judging us because we drink wine with dinner.

    The end thought? Most of us just want to find a community we are accepted in (even with sentences written with prepositions at the end like I just did). We all just want to find a place we can call home and be accepted into.

  5. I personally understand the value of being an active part of a church community and the value of fellowship and all of the other benefits of being a member of a church. With that said, I go weekly and apart of that is my responsibility to my kids. It is my duty to give them a spiritual foundation and train them up in the way that they should go. I do have friends and other acquaintances who do not see the value in church membership or attendance. We all have choices so I don’t badger them to go. If someone asks me about my church, I willingly share and invite them and would even pick them up if need be. But I think it’s better for me to strive for my church persona and my home persona to match and being an example to others speaks volumes more than me just saying “Hey you should come to church.”

  6. Oh one other thing, I was a member of one church for 18 years and another church as long as I lived in BR. I’ve been a member of two different churches in Charlotte. In every one of those churches there was always something going on that I may not have liked or agreed with, but no place is going to be perfect. If I’m growing spiritually and feeling apart of the community then it works for me and I don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, saying.

  7. IMO people’s problem with Church is really a problem with other people, not Religion or Church. I mean we have to deal with folks at work and at home and all of the drama. So when folks bring that stuff to Church, I run away and stay away. I’m Catholic, and we all know the troubles of the Catholic Church. That turned many away, including me. I came back because my connection with my faith goes way beyond what those Priest did and what other Priest covered up. I just stay away from the drama, and the nonsense and pray hard that I stay on the right path.

  8. I attend church occasionally, but I don’t feel led to join. I was once a very active member of a local church, but I got to close to people and learned some bad things about the leader and it really just turned me off. Also, I feel that most churches are for profit under the guise of doing the Lord’s work.

    I dunno. It’s something I think about a lot. But again, I don’t feel led to join.

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