"Why should I join the church?"
Despite my seminary training and pastoral experience, I was unprepared for this new Christian's question. He agreed from our study of the Scripture that he needed to identify himself as a disciple of Christ through baptism, but then he asked, "Can you show me from the New Testament that I'm supposed to officially join anything?"
Now he really had me.
"If I come and worship as often as the members," he continued, "if I fellowship with these believers as much as anyone else, if I profit from the teaching and other ministries of the church, and if I actively demonstrate love for my brothers and sisters in Christ here, why should I formally join the church?"
His question struck me with an uncomfortable logic.
I began to realize that many of my conclusions about church membership were actually nothing more than previously unchallenged assumptions. These assumptions were now melting into questions of my own. Can I give reasons from Scripture why anyone should join a church?
Kenneth Kantzer was surprised by this question, but decided to find an answer.
Hat tip: Dale Tedder