Ever since I was young I thought it was cool to be able to vote in church. You know, all those formal meetings and the Pastor asking “all those in favor, say aye.” I think I said aye just because that’s what good Baptists do– right?
But lately, I’ve gotten to thinking, and there are good reasons not to become a member of your local church.
Here are 5 of them:
5. You Don’t Want to Get Involved.
This is a terrible reason not to become a member of a church– and it’s just an excuse. The church is more than a building. It’s a body of believers that minister to one another. Believers provide education, edification, support, and prayer.
However, there are many things that only members can do. In some places, only members can teach Sunday School, Youth Group or be in the nursery. Only members can hold office and vote. If the only reason that you’re going to church is for what you can get, then you’re going for the wrong reason.
Just like Christmas is supposed to be about giving, not getting, the church is supposed to be about ministering to one another, not being ministered unto– even though both things happen.
4. You Don’t Believe in the Church Government Structure.
I know that some people have trouble with the idea of a church being a democracy. There’s no recorded democracy in the scripture. Some would even say that Acts documents more of a socialist ideal than a democracy.
If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t want to be involved in voting because you believe in God’s sovereignty or some other reason, then don’t become a member. Personally, I believe that this is one of the weaker reasons and borders on just being an excuse.
3. You Don’t Agree With the Church Doctrinally.
The first thing that you should do when you visit a new church is to request a copy of their Articles of Faith. That is, if you didn’t check it out on their website beforehand! The Articles of Faith will let you know what the church says it believes in every doctrinal area.
Now, it is probably true that most of the members probably don’t know the details of what is in its Articles of Faith, but this is the document that they stated that they agreed with when they became members.
If you find something in the Articles that you are unsure about it, call or talk to the Pastor of the church and get clarification. More likely than not, the Pastor (as leader of the church) will have a great deal of influence on what the church “really” believes and how dogmatic they are on their Articles of Faith.
If you don’t agree with the church doctrinally, and you still want to attend there, I suggest that you spend some time in prayer and the Scriptures and see if this is truly the place the Lord would have you. Because you’re going to hear things that you disagree with and depending on where you draw your lines of separation, it may not be comfortable for you to fellowship there.
2. You Cannot Commit to Follow the Church Constitution.
This one is like the previous one. After you get a copy of the Constitution, read it through, no matter how dry it is. I once heard a professor from Baptist Bible College say that he could tell everything a church had been through from what was written into its Constitution to protect the members.
If you find something in the Constitution that you disagree with, then this is a good reason not to become a member. You may find that the church is Pastor run, or Congregationally run, and you don’t agree with whichever way it is run. That’s fine. It doesn’t make you any less of a Christian.
Just remember that your voice will be less important when it comes time to voting, and, more than likely, you won’t be able to hold an office.
1. You’re Not a Member of the Body of Christ
This is the best reason not to become a member of a local church, and the easiest one to remedy. If you need to know how you can have Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior, talk to the Pastor, or Contact me and I’d be glad to share with you how you can know that your sins are forgiven!