We are now members of the church that we have been worshipping at since about Sept 2007. We took the inquirer's class (the third in as many years) and did all of the required paperwork. I have just finished reading The Communion of Saints Edited by Ryken. In it he stresses the need to be a member of the church that you worship in. He likens involvement in a local church without becoming members to living together without getting married:
"Two people who only live together want the benefits of marriage without its safeguards. As a result, they lack the one thing that is crucial to a successful marriage (or to genuine sexual intimacy, for that matter): an unbreakable commitment to a mutual, inviolable covenant before God."
"The same might be said of regular attenders who never join the church. They lack an unbreakable commitment to the church and its ministry." (pg 54-55)
Well we are no longer living in Sin! We are now members.
Also from the book: "Martin Lloyd-Jones went so far as to describe church membership as 'the biggest honour which can come a man's way in this world.' There is no union with Christ apart from the communion of the saints. Nor can the saints have true communion without belonging to one another by belonging to Christ in his church. The communion of the saints is for members only."
I think of the last two churches that we were members of and know that one day we will worship together without ceasing. I praise God for providing a true church within less than ten minutes of the house that he provided for us. May we work diligently to build His kingdom!