Presentation on theme: "Why Join the Church? Keith Drury. I. First, a few thoughts… A. There are two ways of speaking of the church …the invisible church …the visible church."— Presentation transcript:
I. First, a few thoughts… A. There are two ways of speaking of the church …the invisible church …the visible church We are speaking of the “Visible church”
First a few thoughts… B. The church is God’s tool to do His will in the world It is THE CHURCH God builds His kingdom through. None of us can ever be “The Body of Christ.”
Why Join the Church? Six reasons to join the church
Why join the church? 1. Identification It says, “I’m in” Becoming a Christian & Joining the church were one at the beginning
Why join the church? 2. Submission It says, “I am not alone” I submit my beliefs and interpretations to the larger community of Christians past and present
Why join the church? 3. Accountability It says, “I’m under authority” Granting the right to others to hold me accountable i.e. “the family right to ask.”
Why join the church? 4. To vote It says, “God can guide through me” I will let the Holy Spirit guide the church through me
Why join the church? 5. To lead It says, “I am willing to lead” I am willing to serve on the board, make decisions and hold places of service reserved for members.
Why join the church? 6. Because of what it says if I don’t… I’m not (fully) in? I don’t (completely) submit? I’m not (totally) accountable? I don’t care about decisions & votes? I don’t want to lead?
Why join the church? II. So, with such good reasons to join, why do some folk not join?
Why some don’t join the church anyway. 1. I can’t agree with all of this church’s doctrines. Different doctrines than my home church. Or one particular doctrine I can’t accept.
Why some don’t join the church 2. I Can’t accept some of this church’s “rules.” Who says I can’t do that? Where do these rules come from—I don’t see them in the Bible What gives you the right to tell me how to live?
Why some don’t join the church 3. I already belong somewhere else I’ll just leave my membership back there and attend here. I can get almost all the benefits of membership without joining.
Why join the church? III. Finally, some “common opinions” on church membership
Some “common opinions” on church membership 1. We ought to give to the church where we attend We ought to support the “storehouse” where we get our food.
Some “common opinions” on church membership 2. We ought to attend the church where we belong Or perhaps join where we attend. It is too hard for people far away to hold us accountable
Some “common opinions” on church membership 3. We don’t have to agree 100% with everything to join a church All issues are not of equal weight There are doctrines, lifestyle & “snapshot convictions.” It may not be about agreeing so much as submitting
Some “common opinions” on church membership 4. Thoughts on “Rules” Christians should live differently. They have always been in the church. The Bible does not deal explicitly with everything we face—”witness rules.” There are regional differences. They are influenced by larger church culture They change—always with a lag.
Yet, can’t I get almost all the benefits of church membership and less obligations if I don’t join?
Can’t I get almost all the benefits of church membership and less obligations if I don’t join? Yes
Church membership is something like citizenship. You can live in the US and get most of the benefits ll you lose is obligations: voting, holding office, and joining the military. So why be a citizen?
We who are “citizens” of this local church welcome new citizens— especially “naturalized citizens” who come from elsewhere, for many of us are “immigrants” too.