Summary: Christians need to be members of a local church because we need to be in relationships with other christians
“Lean On Me”
The Necessity of Membership
Intro: We all need people. For various reasons and for many purposes we need others. God created us to be relational. The only time God disapproved of anything in creation was when he looked in the Garden and man was alone.
“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.’” Genesis 2:18(NIV)
We need people.
** Brad and I needed Jenny. We don’t have to outrun the bear, we just have to outrun you.
Being part of a church is about needing other Christians.
We need each other so much that over 50 times the bible refers to that point.
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
John 3:34-35 (The Message)
“Love one another warmly as Christian brothers, and be eager to show respect for one another.”
Romans 12:10(Today’s English Version)
“Live in harmony with one another.”
Romans 12:16 (NIV)
The point is clear. Christians need one another. The place for Christians to join together is the local church.
Many people are skeptical of joining the church. They view membership with a wary eye and a what do I get out of it approach.
Membership in church has long been associated with having your name on some dusty roll, sitting on some committee or simply writing a check.
Over the next two weeks I want to share with you what biblical membership is.
Today we are going to start with two benefits of church membership.
Some of the information today comes from Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Church
I. We need one another to be accepted.
American society is fractured. Job relocation, divorce, emphasis on individuality all promote a loneliness inside. People live away from extended family and less and less of us know our neighbor.
Vance Packard calls America “a nation of strangers.”
One Gallop poll reported that 4 in 10 Americans admit to feeling of “extreme loneliness.”
That is one reason that joining together in a local church is so important.
One picture the bible uses for the church is a family.
“you will know how everyone who belongs to God’s family ought to behave. After all, the church is the strong foundation of truth.”
1 Timothy 3:15(Contemporary English Version)
“You are members of God’s very own family,… and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.”
Ephesians 2:19 (Living Bible)
Being a follower of Christ means we are adopted into the family of God. The place we most belong is with other Christians.
“A Christian without a church family is an orphan.”
Purpose Driven Church
Being a member is not about your name on the roll, but about your place at the table.
Illus: Family Dinner- Alana, the kids, and I all have our place.
If you are not in your place, you miss your portion and others miss your participation.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25(NIV)
The church is where Christians find love, encouragement, and acceptance.
II. We need one another to be accountable.
How do you learn how to do something? You have someone show you.
I have learned how to do drywall, tile and roofing in the last few weeks.
As Christians, we learn how Christians think, talk, act and live by seeing it.
The church is the place where one life rubs off on another.
“Two are better one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to pick him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10(NIV)
If you want to understand the Christian life, you have to be transparent in your weakness.
We all stumble and fall. But when we have accountable, honest relationships we can help each other rise again.
Accountability and confession help us to be healed in our souls.
“Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.”
James 5:16(The Message)
Being a member of God’s family gives you help when you fall.
Illus: The President of the Special Olympics was asked to recall his best moment from that year as president. Without hesitation, he told about the 100 meter run.
Six developmentally handicapped kids lined up in front of a stadium filled with 50,000 people. These kids had prepared all year for this event. They all wanted to win.