Presently, I am a member of two churches: the universal church, and the local church, namely, Missio Dei Fellowship of Kenosha, WI. Missio Dei is in itself, a unique local body of believers within the whole body of Christ, so it is natural that its characteristics are different than other local churches within the universal church.
However, the goal in this post is not to distinguish the lines between the two and define ecclesiology – the goal is to present the “notorious” belief that if you are part of the universal church, you are inevitably part of a local church body.
Many deny local church membership on the basis of universal church membership. In other words, they determine that it is uncharacteristically unbiblical to be members of a local body considering that they have come to salvation, and are otherwise integrated into the church universal. However, most of these same people are the ones who would casually attend church, move from church to church habitually, or even presumptuously, not attend church at all.
All of the latter reasons can be simply combated by Hebrews 3:13 and 10:25, and other verses as well, such as Acts 1:14, 2:42-47 (not necessarily prescriptive, yet nonetheless a valid example of how the functional body of Christ interacts).
Through a series of short posts, I aim to answer some of the main questions that had arisen within me when pursuing not only finding a church to attend, but in pursuing membership at Missio Dei.
- Why church membership? What serious biblical reasons do I have to be part of the local church through the ordinance of membership?
- Is it sinful to not be a member of a local body?
- What about biblical stewardship, i.e. – the mandate to make disciples, fellowship, spurring one another on, loving the brethren, etc.?
- Can we flourish outside of the church? Can we flourish with spotty attendance? Can we flourish with faithful attendance, yet in refusing membership?