Recovering Church Membership

As a body of believers, Christians are called to be together and not neglect the local assembly (Hebrews 10:25, “Not neglecting to meet together” ESV). We are covenanted together by Christ and what we confess. 

The local church displays the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who confesses Christ as the forgiveness of sins should gather with fellow believers every Lord’s Day and be renewed in the good news. The people of God are first and foremost united in the Gospel. When the world looks at the church, and they ask what we have in common. The people of God should unanimously say, “Christ!”. We forgive one another, we teach one another, we hold one another accountable, we comfort one another, and we exhort one another to press on in the faith. Membership matters because the people of God and the Gospel matters. 

John Hammett in Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches lays out some reasons in which Baptist Churches can recover meaningful church membership. (pg. 114-116)

  1. Recovery of meaningful church membership should be the number one priority of Baptist churches today because of the effect it would have on our corporate witness. 
  2. Our corporate health would be strengthened. 
  3. Doing the hard work in recovering meaningful membership is the potential for awakening literally millions of lost church members. 
  4. Recovering meaningful church membership would honor Christ. 

“Christ is honored when churches are composed of people whose church membership means first of all a genuine, vital commitment to Christ, and second, a commitment to the people of that local body. Christ is honored when church membership is meaningful.” – John Hammett, pg. 116, Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches

So may our churches once again pursue meaningful church membership! For God’s Glory and our good!

To purchase a copy of Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches, click here. (2nd Edition)


Evan Knies is from West Monroe, LA. He is married to Lauren and father to Maesyn. He serves as Minister of Students at Bullitt Lick Baptist Church in Shepherdsville, KY. He also serves as the Executive Assistant of the Nelson Baptist Association. He is a graduate of Boyce College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies

30 Quotes from “Church in Hard Places” by Mez McConnell and Mike McKinley

Church in Hard Places is available on Amazon (here). It is an excellent new book by Mez McConnell and Mike McKinley. Below are 30 quotes from the Church in Hard Places. 

  1. The one unique thing that a local church has to offer to people mired in poverty is the gospel of Jesus Christ (pg. 28).
  2. The gospel word is the message of God to people who are caught in the complex patterns of personal sin and systematic challenges that comprise poverty (pg. 28).
  3. The church is at the heart of God’s saving plan. His love does not rest on a multitude of isolated individuals, but it calls out and creates a people who can now be called “God’s people” 1 Pet. 2:9-10 (pg. 31).
  4. God has designed the church to be the vehicle that takes his saving message to the world (pg. 31).
  5. Local churches teach the Word of God week in and week out, both to disciple believers and to evangelize believers (pg. 31).
  6. A local church is a community of the reconciled-those reconciled to God and to each other (pg. 31).
  7. A false or even an incomplete gospel is like a sugar pill. It might fool the patient into thinking he will get better, but it doesn’t have the power to cure him (pg. 38).
  8. The gospel is profound and beautiful enough to occupy the most brilliant scholar, but it is also simple enough for a child to understand and believe (pg. 38).
  9. The Bible challenges us to own our sin and take responsibility for the things that we have done (pg. 45).
  10. Poverty, violence, and injustice are real problems at a personal and societal level. But they fare the symptoms of the spiritual disease we all carry around with us. Treating the symptoms is good and noble, but without the gospel cure, the patient will surely die (pg. 52).
  11. True doctrine is life giving and sanctifying; false teaching destroys the soul (pg. 67).
  12. The local church is God’s primary evangelism strategy (pg. 87).
  13. Local churches do local evangelism (pg. 88).
  14. God has chosen the local church, and no other human organization, to be his kingdom representative to the world (pg. 88).
  15. The church is central to the purposes of God and is of benefit to the world around us-even today in our increasingly hostile culture (pg. 88).
  16. A culture that despises any kind of authority needs to see healthy models of leadership and submission. And the best place for people to see this modeled is in the local church (pg. 92).
  17. We cannot transform sinners; we can only teach and persuade them of the truths of the gospel as revealed in the Bible. The rest depends on prayer and the sovereign, electing grace of God’s Holy Spirit (pg. 99-100).
  18. If a church hopes to see people from needy places come to Christ, then they must be sure that those people are welcomed into a full place in the life of the congregation (pg. 125).
  19. Healthy practices of membership and discipline play a crucial role in cultivating and protecting the distinctiveness of a church (pg. 128).
  20. We must be aware of our motivations because they can come back to haunt us if we don’t thin deeply before we engage in any kind of ministry (pg. 139).
  21. People are dying without Christ; that’s the bottom line (pg. 141).
  22. Micromanaging does not equip people or build a team; delegating authority does (pg. 148).
  23. Leaders in established positions can too easily project the sense that only they have the skills and knowledge necessary for leadership (pg. 161).
  24. Churches and institutional leaders need to stop overlooking those who lack professional qualifications or who don’t fit into their social circle (pg. 161).
  25. Our job is not to fix whole cultures, but to share the good news and to disciple those God draws to himself (pg. 166).
  26. Discipleship without deep friendship is merely club membership (pg. 170).
  27. Starbucks sells coffee, Listerine makes mouthwash, and the church holds out the gospel and trains people to obey by doing the work of ministry (pg. 174).
  28. Deeds of mercy can also show the power of the gospel to change us (pg. 174).
  29. Feeding a lazy man simply encourages his sin and enables him to avoid the consequences of his actions (pg. 177).
  30. Mercy ministry needs to be done in the context of relationships and accountability (pg. 179).

Evan Knies is married to Lauren and is a student at SBTS. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies.