People who know I’m a pastor often ask me, “Do I have to be a member of a church to be a Christian?” I answer with an emphatic no.  But if I have an opportunity, I’ll share that the question strikes me as the wrong one to ask. I don’t belong to a church because I have to or because I’m a pastor, but because being part of a church is an indescribable blessing! Here are three reasons why.

First, God created us for community. And at its heart, that’s what church represents: a people who love God, each other, and the world around us. The church is a family, God’s family. The Psalmist tells us God adds solitary people to a family, and that’s what God does when He joins an individual to a church. One man called it “the single best place on earth to start over, grow and change for the glory of God!”

Second, God created us for fruitfulness. Becoming a Christian is the starting point of a glorious walk where God uses us to “bear much fruit” for His glory. And the church is where believers are cared for and equipped for ministry. Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus that God calls leaders to “equip the saints for the work of ministry.” Leaders equip, believers minister. That’s why Christians in isolation are rarely very fruitful.

Lastly, God created us for testimony. His church is a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. Through the local church we can take part in His eternal plan to rescue men and women from their sin, totally transforming their lives. This is the mission of the church. It’s our duty, our calling, and our privilege!

I’m passionately committed to God’s church because Jesus is passionately committed to her. That’s why Martyn Lloyd-Jones called church membership “the biggest honor which can come a man’s way in this world.”

If you’re not a member at KingsWay, let me encourage you to join us for a six-week class starting next Sunday, April 7. Each class follows the Sunday meeting at noon, beginning with lunch together in the seminar room. Then one of the pastors will discuss our vision and mission as a local church. Following the six weeks you’ll have an opportunity to join if you so desire. To register, follow this link: Starting Point.

Matthew grew up attending KingsWay and joined the pastoral staff in 2009. God has blessed him and his wife, Aliza, with three rambunctious boys. Matthew did his undergraduate work at the University of Richmond in chemistry and political science, spent a year at the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s College, and received his Masters of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


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