Welcome back! If the first ingredient in the recipe for biblical discipleship is belief in the Savior then the second ingredient should be membership in a local church. Ironically, people continue to want to debate the importance of church membership. Some even go so far as to argue that it is not biblical.
If that were true then why is half of the New Testament written written to local churches that were planted all over the Mediterranean world? If that were true then why does God continue to call some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers? And why has God instructed those He has called to equip the saints to do the work of ministry or to edify the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Honestly, if you love Jesus shouldn’t love what He loves? According to Ephesians 5:25 Christ loved the church so much that He gave His life for her. Therefore, if we say we love Jesus then we should love what He loves. We must love His church!
Christ intends for the church to be a blessing to the believer not a burden. Just read 1 Corinthians 12:26 “So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” The church offers its members a platform for authentic community. A place of real social interaction.
Who needs Facebook Friends or Twitter Followers when you can enjoy the benefits of a family of faith! The local church offers a place to enjoy Christian fellowship and pastoral care alongside of those who will rejoice with you in the good times and walk with you through the bad. I believe that you will find the church to be a place where you can learn and be loved.
So after you have put your faith in the Savior make sure you are actually getting plugged in to a local church. You might ask “how do I know if I am getting plugged in to a local church?” You will….
1.Embrace its vision.
2. Get involved in its ministry.
3. Invest in its mission.
4. Support and pray for its leaders.