Dear Brethren,

I would like to summarise the message that I preached last Lord’s Day on “Church Membership”. It will help you to recall our duties before God and our accountability to each other as a member of Tabernacle BP Church. It is also my wish that fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who worship regularly with us will also be encouraged to join our Church as a member so that together we can serve the Lord Jesus Christ and grow in His grace and knowledge. There are 2 main points in the message.

First, there are 3 biblical reasons for Church membership. It is not done simply to follow the practice of societies and clubs of this world nor for administrative purpose only.

(a) The structure of leadership is taught in the Bible that Elders are to be ordained to oversee and feed the flock of God (1 Pet 5:2-3). Hence there must be a committed group of members in the Church under the care of the Elders.

(b) In Matthew 18:15-17 of the teaching of ex-communication, there must be proper membership in the Church or else this teaching cannot be carried out at all.

(c) The Church is illustrated of a body with many members of different functions (1 Cor. 12). This description will not make sense if there is no definite membership in the Church.

Secondly, we need to know “Church Membership” encompasses many aspects which is described from A to Z. Church membership is not just marking my attendance to come on Sunday worship service only.

Adoption – The prerequisite of Church membership is one must be an adopted son of God (Rom 8:14-15). The reason why we are in the Church is because we are saved by Jesus Christ and become children of God.

Bible – The decision to join which Church should be made primarily on the basis how closely the Church follows the Bible. The Bible ought to be the Church’s basis of doctrines and practices.

Christ – The foundation of the Church is none other than Jesus Christ. Joining a Church is not about joining a Pastor or a friend but growing together in Christ.

Discipleship – The role of the Church is for every member to be taught the Word of God to become disciples of Jesus Christ (Matt 28:20).

Eldership – The oversight of the Church comes under the care of the Elders who are the undershepherds. They are to be respected for their work.

Fellowship – Members of the Church are to be committed to growing in fellowship. We ought to spend time with each other and to provoke one another unto love and good works (Heb. 10:24).

Gospel – Every member of the Church ought to obey the Great Commission (Matt 28:19) to go to preach the Gospel. We ought to support and participate in the Gospel outreaches of the Church.

Holiness – Every member must strive to be holy as God who has called us is holy (1 Pet 1:16).

I – In the Church, it is not about meeting my needs and I must get the attention. I must decrease and Christ must increase (John 3;30).

Judging – Members must not judge unfairly and make unkind hasty judgment against one another (Luke 6:37).

Know – Members of the Church must make effort and spend time to know one another. We should not stay within our “clicks” only.

Loyalty – The Church’s primary loyalty must be to Christ but loyalty to one’s Church is important too to love and defend her. Of course, it is not a blind loyalty to the Church if she fails to be loyal to Christ.

Mission – Acts 1:8 tells the Church to be witness for Christ to the uttermost part of the earth. Every member should do a part in mission by giving, praying or going.

Notify – To be accountable to one another, members ought to notify the Church leaders if they cannot worship or meetings. Share your prayer requests and needs to each other.

Opportunity – Galatians 6:10 exhorts us to make use of every opportunity to do good unto all men especially those of the household of faith. Serve and help one another.

Pray – Every member ought to pray for the Church and for each other. Pray for zeal and unity in the Church. Attend the Church Prayer meeting to pray corporately.

Quiet Time – Every member has a duty to be strong spiritually by doing their Quiet Time every day. The Church will then be strong spiritually.

Respect – Philippians 2:3 exhorts us to esteem others better than ourselves. There must be respect especially to the elderly.

Service – Every member must find an area of service in Church to use their spiritual gift to the glory of God.

Thanksgiving – Every member must manifest a heart of gratefulness to God for their Church which will lead to contentment and no murmurings.

Unity – There must be unity of faith (submitting to God’s Word) and unity of love among members.

Visitation – James 1:27 exhorts us to visit those in afflictions. It is encouraging to have members visit the sick, needy and backsliders.

Worship – The highlight of the week for every Church member is to come to God’s House for worship. Nothing and no one should hinder us in obeying the 4th commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Xerox – We are not “Xeroxed” copy of one another. God made us differently with different gifts too. Every member is important.

Yield – Conflicts within a Church will arise and we ought to be ready to yield in matters of opinions and preferences. There is no need to win every argument.

Zeal – Every member ought to be zealous for God to serve God (Tit. 2:4). There should not be complacency and mediocrity in the Church.

Elder John Leong