While the Bible doesn't speak directly about membership databases and written church covenants…

…it does have quite a bit to say about commitment, mutual submission, and partnership between fellow Christians in local expressions of the church of Christ. One such example may be found near the end of the book of Hebrews:

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Hebrews 13:17, ESV)

You can see here the two key members of the family involved in making more and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ.

First, the leaders.

They bear the weighty responsibility of guarding the souls of those who make up the church. And one day they will have to give an account to Jesus himself, who is the senior leader of every church, for how well they did that.

Second, the followers.

Disciples of Jesus need to obey those God has put over them, and follow (submit to) them. And they must do so in such a way that it is a joy for the leaders to lead, because it is a good thing for followers to have happy leaders. It helps them lead well.

But how does this passage teach membership?

It assumes that followers have specific leaders they follow, and it assumes that leaders have specific followers they are responsible for leading.

And thus, modern-day membership quite simply lets Calvary’s leaders know who to lead, and it lets Calvary’s members know who to follow. In a way that is a joy for us all.

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