Seven Reasons to Join a Local Church?*
1. Join a church for the sake of non-Christians.
Church membership helps make the gospel clear to non-Christians by providing a unified witness of what it means to be a Christian.
2. Join a church for the sake of weaker Christians.
God is not merely concerned about our own private piety, but also about our care for the other sheep. God wants us to encourage weaker Christians and run the race with them.
3. Join a church for the sake of the church leaders.
If regular attendees don’t eventually make themselves known to the pastor as members of the church, then the pastor cannot take responsibility for them as part of his particular flock. Pastors need to know for which sheep God will hold them accountable so that they can tend to them most responsibly and effectively (Heb 13:17). Furthermore, if regular attenders don’t join churches, then pastors cannot be freed to do what they do. Pastors can only devote themselves to the ministry because they are set free to do so by members who fund their work. Regular attendees benefit from the commitment of other people who have become members and who give and serve and pray regularly.
4. Join a church to expose false gospels.
God wants us to band together in love so that we can model Christianity for the world. This is often how we best debunk messages that masquerade as biblical Christianity but are really different messages altogether. Christians are called to differentiate the true gospel from false ones, to defend it against distortion, and to prevent it from being perverted. We do these things best together because we are sharpened by each other’s insight, encouragement, and correction.
5. Join a church to edify the church.
Some people refuse to join a local church because they feel they would be slowed down in their spiritual growth if they joined. Perhaps. But maybe God wants such people to join a church to help speed other people up. The New Testament is full of injunctions to care for each other. This is part of what it means to be a Christian.
6. Join a church for the sake of God’s name.
Jesus so closely identified himself with His church that He said Saul was persecuting Him when he was persecuting the church. If Jesus identified himself closely with the church, we should too. By our being together in a church, we are giving testimony and praise to God through our lives as we live and love each other together. In joining a church we learn to pray, give, serve, love, and attend. These are the marks of a faithful Christian, and these are the characteristics and actions that give God glory.
7. Join a church for the sake of God’s cause.
We can take God’s glory and gospel to the nations better if we band together than if we remain alone. Being part of God’s plan to spread His glory and gospel to all nations is a privilege that we will not have in heaven. We seize the privilege of evangelism best if we work together as one diverse unity.
*Adapted from 9Marks