Why should anyone join a Church? After all the Church is in disarray today. Prominent Christ leaders fall into scandalous sins. Many Shepherds offer “a diet of baby food, if not outright poison” to their sheep. Churches trivialize worship, the word, the sacraments. So why join?
Because unity and order trump isolationism and disorder. The Church is not a visiting center for tourists, it is a perpetual house of gladness for the people of God.
Membership in the local body is a testimony to the world that we treasure what God treasures. God commands that we meet together to worship before Him. In Exodus 23 the people of Israel were called to assemble before him. In Hebrews 10:25, the writer says that we ought not to forsake this holy assembly.
In Hebrews again, that great manual on Biblical worship, chapter 13:17 the apostle Paul says instructs us to obey the leaders who keep watch over your souls. “If God wants us to submit to the authority of a local Church government, He surely wants us to join a local Church. Otherwise, who keeps watch for our souls? Who warns us when we stumble?”
Furthermore, the Church is a covenant community. We are bought with a price. That price is the covenant sealed with the blood of Jesus. God knits a community together through His son, and that community can only succeed when there is a common bond, a common love for one another in a community of faith, and a common submission to the Lord who died for our sakes.
Finally, why should you join the local Church? Because Christ loves the Church. She is his Bride. He died for her and gave himself for her. He is purifying and washing her with His love. She may be imperfect, but He is still His eternal Bride, and we are recipients of this divine love.