Not everyone today considers being a committed member of a local church as something essential in their Christian faith. Many simply view it as something practical, useful, or convenient. They attend a local church because it’s near, because the worship is good, because there’s adequate parking, because the preaching is relevant and short, because their families or friends are there, etc. In other words, they do not really commit themselves as members of a local church ready to pursue the journey of faith together with others for the long haul. The Bible does not teach this kind of idea. Instead, the Bible teaches a long-term committed membership in a local church that is meant to last for as long as possible. We are uniquely joined together to glorify God together.
- Our commitment must be voluntary and personal. (Acts 2:41, 47b; 5:12-13; 9:26-27) – No one forces you to join a local church. It must be voluntary and personal, which means we must pray about it. We must wait and listen to the Lord’s guidance. It also works both ways. The church must also discern before it accepts anyone as a member. Once we are convinced that it is God’s will that we should join a local church, and that the church is willing to accept us, then we must do it with integrity and faith.
- Our commitment must be interpersonal and relational. (Romans 16:1-5; 1 Corinthians 16:15-18) – We are not simply joining a club when we join a local church. We are joining a spiritual family. We are choosing to be a brother or a sister. We are choosing also to relate with others as our fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters. Therefore, our commitment must be interpersonal and relational. We cannot hide behind a wall. Although it might be a difficult process for some, we must be willing to grow in our relationship with others in the local church.
- Our commitment must be deep and uncompromising. (2 Corinthians 2:5-11; Galatians 6:1-2) – When you choose to be part of a local church, you would experience various challenges. That’s part of it. Relationships can be messy and challenging. But we must persevere and work it out together with others. Transferring from one church to another just because there are relational problems will not result in our maturity. The key is not to flee or escape but to face it by grace through faith.
- Our commitment must be communal and purpose-driven. (Philippians 2:1-4, 12-13). – Once you join a local church, you join a community of faith. We are on a journey together. We must stand united and fight our battles together. We must help each other. We cannot disregard anyone because everyone matters. We must help each other grow and mature in the Lord. We must work out our faith together as God’s people.
- Central Idea: “We are uniquely joined together to glorify God together.”
- Don’t just attend RLCC because it’s practical, useful, or convenient. Be a committed member and join us in our journey.
- Think of practical and creative ways to show your commitment to RLCC this week.
- Why is a commitment to a local church difficult for some people?
- How do we overcome the difficulties of committing ourselves to a local church?
- What would you do differently to show your commitment to RLCC this week?