The other day, I was interacting with someone about the importance of membership, and they offered the following argument:
"Joining a church doesn't make someone a Christian, any more than attending a football game makes you a sports fan."
Granted. But there's more that is telling about this analogy than just whether joining a church makes you a Christian.
You see, most Christians today assume that joining a church is akin to attending a football game. This is the big flaw in the conventional wisdom. Joining a church is more than merely attending a football game; it is even more than buying season tickets.
We're not just observers. We aren't "doing church" just so that we can watch. The degree to which we are called to participate in the life of the church is not simply to "cheer on" the professional Christians that we've hired to run plays.
If you want to use a football game analogy to describe joining the church, here you go:
You, my fellow Christian-- you, who are called by Christ to put off your old identity and take up the identity you are adopted into in Him-- YOU are a Left Tackle. Or a Strong Safety. Or a Fullback.
You get the picture? Maybe you've been a Left Tackle all your life. Perhaps you are the most promising Strong Safety in this year's class. It could be that you are the most well-developed Fullback this side of the Mississippi. But without a team to play on, you have only so much to offer. Without the other 10 guys on the field with you, your skills and talents-- even your crowd-wowing abilities-- are fairly useless.
So join the team. There's room on the depth chart for you.