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I have a question today maybe someone could share a different light, my husband and I have been saved since we were teenagers, and went to a nondomination church. A few years ago we add to move and for almost one year did not attend a church. Now, since then we were blessed with a couple who belong to The Church of God but had been sent by there district office to "clean up" they are realy evanlist that preach in mexico, in this church we have been going to since march we enjoy the messages, the worship is awesome, Holy Ghost lead!.. The pastor called today and mentioned that if we could help out in some of the bible studies that they would not be able to teach, for they will be in mexico. And this sunday wanted to make us members of The Church of God... personaly i tread this with caution, cause some of the doctrine we dont agree on, second he mentioned in the conversation to make sure my husband "dresses nice", well he dress good he wears long dress shorts and a button shirt, and in a joking way i said that he dress nice always, then he replyed back that they are not suppose to let anyone on the pulpit in shorts, and women should wear a dress... I laughted and said okay... This did not settle with me very well, i have not spoken to my husband about it yet but is it just me? I am not sure how to take this and Why do churches want you to be a member, cant we just go and worship, and do God's work without a membership?... Does this make any sence?

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Several points to ponder:

Every church has a system by which they operate. Not one is without some form of procedure and protocol, whether it is written or not, it exists. The church you mentioned requires a certain attire to be worn for certain occasions. We may not like it or agree with it, but it is their right as a group to adhere to this. You have the freedom to not be a part of it or to conform. If this is a touchy issue for you then this place is not for you. You will not change them. You can adapt, remain on the outside or move on. I would be more concerned with a church that turns a bible study over to a person whom they have only known for a maximum of 3 months.

Church membership comes under fire all the time. First of all, most miss that a church is required to incorporate in most states to operate as a legal church. This incorporation requires the establishment of officers and membership. There are many different denomination and non-denominational churches out there. All will have a statement of faith. They should all agree on the majors, but might differ on the minors. These differences direct the personality and ministry of that organization or local church. Joining a church is standing up and acknowledging your commitment to the ministry of that church. You pledge that you will be faithful in attendance, support and engage in ministry for the glory of God. It deals with belonging. At the same time when you join a church there is a commitment from the congregation to you.

There is another great reason for church membership, and I believe it to be God ordained. For example, say you belong to an average church of 75 and do not have any membership or membership rules. Next Sunday a group of 100 cult members come to your church. They come back the next Sunday and the next. On the fourth Sunday they decide to replace the pastor and elders with people from their own group. Without membership, rules and regulations there is nothing to stop them. The majority rules. You could argue this is not biblical and fight them, but in the end the law sees you as a social club. In this example if the church has membership and guidelines for membership these people would be prevented from taking over. They would be denied membership or leadership positions until such time as there is evidence of salvation and then maturity taking place. Membership protects the church from ravenous wolves.

Therefore, examine a churches doctrine well. If you do not agree with it, don’t join it. Look until you find the right one. Examine the leadership and how they function. Examine the ministry and its purposes. Belonging to a church is a blessing when it is the right church. When it is the wrong church it can be a horrid experience.

I pastor a church. I take a different approach. I rarely ask anyone to join. I inform people regarding membership, its privileges and responsibility. I then wait until the person approaches me. This is a sign that they want to become deeper involved in the work of God through our ministry.

Hope this helps.
I thank you for your reply, I agree that not one church is without some form of procedure and that if we did not have these rules then we would not be followers, believers God likes order, this is true. I just think okay, the pastor could have said it differently than, "make sure he dresses nice" we are not babes, we are seasoned believers that know we would dress up, I guess i took it personal and i bet once i tell my husband he is going to think am blowing this up. On that i need to look at myself.

On the membership, when we first met we had a discussion on membership and he mentioned the same things you listed, My husband has a calling we are starting a men's ministry and we understand we should be under a pastor, This couple that was sent to clean up some stuff in this church is struggling, there are us and three other couples people that go, one of the longest members left because the pastor is not teachable, church is once a week because of finances, bible study we take turns at each others houses. it has been working out, there are somethings along the way my husband and i have seen in both the pastors, one is anointed and has a teachable spirit and he does alot of analyzes everything. The pastor has alot of education but i dont see the anointing from God, now, his wife she does,, she does the preaching, he handles all the admin stuff, the business part of it.. and you cant ask him a question cause what he says is right, even if we can show that what he is saying is not biblical. You raise more questions in me now, is the pastor handling this as a business or anointed ministry? we have only been there for 3 months, and i think he wants us to make the commitment to them, cause are commitment to God is there, we come in Jesus name with his work to be done, this church has alot of bills, and they are on the line in keeping it open or closing it up. We dont want to change anyone, that is God's doning, He works in all of us we are walking in Him and I just see too many people focusing on the things of the church and not on God. Maybe I am doing that.. I have alot to pray about.
You are right in questioning the loyalty of many to the machine (church organization, buildings, etc) instead of church ministry. My response was not meant as any type of crticism of you, but rather to maybe be a cause for pause and thought, followed by prayer. God will guide you.

Lord Bless,
LT
No, harm done this is very helpful and am glad I spoke out because we want to be in God's will not our own. You are very insightful thanks

In His service

K~
Yes, Amen to that i agree Brother! Who is Sony's page? thanks
In Him sisters ~ Kate
Did the apostles or Jesus through the apostles establish the church that met in Jerusalem? Did Paul or did Jesus through Paul's ministry establish the churches that met in Ephesus, Thessalonica, Colosse, and multiple other places.

What does Acts 2;42 mean, if we are to walk outside of the fellowship with one another? What is the purpose of Eph. 4:11-12 if not with the understanding of the local gatherings of his body in what we call the church.

The word church carries two applicable meanings. 1) The universal church, which is the worldwide body of Christ that is comprised of all believers. 2) The local gathering of His people.

Though many churches that fly under the banner of the cross are not His, that does not mean that we reject the gathering together in Christ centered gatherings together. In fact we are commanded in Hebrews to never give up coming together (Heb. 10:25).

LT
We are the church us believers, where we choose to gather, home, a church, street corner doesnt matter, those are true statements that you have made, at the same time my discussion about church membership and how every denomination and non-denominational churches out there talk about membership and it can turn into legalizisum. Now to preach and reach the lost that is what Jesus came to do, the question is not that i dont believe that we are to come together as believers but that you dont have to be a "member" to do so or to do what Jesus came to do. In His Service always Sisters Kate~
Kate,

I understand what you are saying. I would refer you to the first post on this topic at the top of the page.

I also would state that there is an implied membership throughout the New Testament. The Church in Jerusalem had a leadership group that had authority over the rest. They discussed how they were supposed to deal with the Gentile believers in Acts 15. They chose, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to set aside Barnabus and Paul for their mission. The word teaches us that there are pastors and elders established for local churches. If there is no recognizable membership, anyone can come in and have a vote, a say, regarding the direction and ministry of the church. The church is both organic in nature and organizational. This cannot be avoided.

Membership is not to be viewed as exclusive, but inclusive with the purpose of protecting the integrity of the mission and message of the local body of believers serving Jesus.

Blessings,
LT
LT,

Those are very good points you state, Yes, Paul speaks occasionally of “the church in so-and-so’s house”; as it is manifestly evident that there should be small groups of believers meeting together from house-to-house in the days before the concept of a church building took root. But it is also clear that, in the same epistles, the local church was often just a term used to set apart as a distinct group from other cities all the believers which were in a certain city. The church in Priscilla and Aquila’s house (Romans 16:5) was simply a designation used to make more specific those who were fundamentally and inter-connectedly a part of “all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints” And the examples could continue. I believe that the actual state of the church has drifted so far from what Paul considered it to be, what it essentially is even now, in spite of the disheartening outward appearance of things? Perhaps in part because of the predicted proliferation of false gospels and false teachers. Like you stated in the first post: "Church membership comes under fire all the time." and that is why we have these topics.. This actual has encouraged me to read more the word of God and seek His face and grace in topics as this and many more to come, thanks for your loving words of encouragement hope to talk to you more on other related topics. I hope I also have brought some insight to the table, many blessings to you and your church!
In His service,
Kate
In His Service
Kate

You have stated your position well and we are not in opposition, but rather we are not in full agreement on every topic regarding the issue and that is OK. For I trust we both seek to follow the way of the cross and one day we both will see Jesus becasue of His work on our behalf and one day all this will be a moot point.

Lord BLess,
LT
:) LT, I am glad we meet, I believe Jesus puts those in our path so that we will grow and learn to love each other, even if we are not in full agreement. I love to learn about Jesus and All He wants me to learn more to have a close relationship With Him and In Him :)

Have a Great day
Kate

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