Some churches fall short of this biblical vision [of supernatural community] because they are allergic to any kind of formality – and don’t have membership at all. Other churches have membership but don’t manage it carefully. Theirs is not meaningful membership, and thus they do not call Christians to commitment that is in any way significant. And still other churches attempt the coexistence of meaningful membership with a consumer-focused “selling” of the benefits of church commitment. in contrast to these shortcomings, we must call Christians to real discipleship of Christ: discipleship that involves significant, self conscious commitment to the local church. Scripture has no other concept of Christian.
– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 61
When commitment in a local church transcends the benefits we receive from it, it points to something deeper.
– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 53
According to Calvin and the Reformers, with whom we agree, the church is what happens because God the Holy Spirit works in power through the gospel of Jesus Christ and is not a static institution resting its hopes on apostolic succession. This gospel message is to be heard by rightly teaching the Scriptures and rightly guarded with baptism, the Lord’s supper, regenerated church membership, and ensuing church discipline as needed.
– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 47
We should criticize Christians when they are condemning and ungracious to unbelievers. But we should not criticize churches when they maintain standards for membership in accord with their beliefs. Every community must do the same.
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 40