Being counted as a member

Church membership classes are coming soon. Church membership isn’t often thought about today. You might wonder why it’s necessary. “What benefits come from being a church member?” “I’m already a Christian, why do this extra thing?” “Is it even in the Bible?”

It’s the last question which is key, as I’m sure you agree. You might be suspicious of the concept because the term ‘church member’ isn’t in the Bible. But over the next few weeks I’m hoping to show that the concept is there, even if the term isn’t. You might not agree with every argument made, but my hope is that the weight of all the verses and arguments will convince you, not only to become a member if you’re not, but to see the goodness in it.

This week, consider the reality of verses like Acts 2:41 (“And there were added that day about three thousand souls.”) and Acts 4:4 (“The number of men came to about five thousand.”)

They were keeping count of those who joined the church. Two things had to happen to do that: 1 – a person had to present themselves as a believer (no doubt by being baptised as they are converted); 2 – the leadership had to accept them as genuine believers (they wouldn’t let those they didn’t think genuine in).

The method for how this was done isn’t prescribed, but a form of church membership in this new movement is implied. It even shows up in Acts 5:13, where the people were scared to “join” the church (a word that is more than just “showing up”, but “sticking to”, “uniting with”).

Are you willing to both join the church and be recognised as a member? We’ll build on this topic in the next few weeks.