How can we persuade someone that church membership is important?

“the ‘officialese’ is far less important than the notion, ‘I really belong here and am absolutely committed here.’ To turn away from that, to reject it, or to deny it is really to repudiate what Christ has brought you into” - Sinclair Ferguson


Ferguson is great but he is not at his best here in my opinion. The parallels and hyperbole are not helpful IMO.

Agree, not strong here. The objections to ‘joining’ that I usually hear are precisely to the official aspect—people want to attend, maybe even serve in some ways, but have a problem with formalizing membership.

This is just my experience… but multiple times. So a good case for joining a church needs to answer objections along the lines of “Well, where is the membership roll in the NT? Where do you see people ‘become members’ of a local congregation?”

The case is not super hard to make but it is evidential. There isn’t a verse that says “let each of you join a local church.” So, there has to be some willingness to be convinced and look where the clues point.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

It's difficult to persuade people that church membership is important when so many churches treat it as if it's not. Why, for example, should church's let people serve who are not members? When you let them participate just like members, minus only voting, why should they "join"? When you accept them as members by letting them serve in spite of their unwillingness to commit themselves or become accountable, what does membership mean? The first step is for churches to reform their membership practices. When membership becomes meaningful, serious-minded Christians will see the need for membership.

G. N. Barkman