The Christian church is a gathering1 of people who are called according to Christ’s purpose, who are conforming to Christ’s image, who are justified by Christ’s sacrifice, and who are glorified by Christ.2

Membership is based on conversion resulting in a surrender of a member’s whole life to Christ.

This Christian church belongs to Christ.3

Church membership is evidenced by each member’s love of Christ,4 for each other,5 and for strangers.6 Love of Christ is evidenced by

  • Obedience to the Word of the Bible.7
  • Unity among members.8
  • Care for widows, orphans, and strangers.9
  • Exclusive commitment to Christ.10

The church may gather in homes, buildings, open fields, or anywhere.

Unfortunately, some churches have named buildings “church” and this has resulted in confusion. Some people enter the building named church and attribute the building name to their own membership in the church. Attendance does not make someone a member of the church. Some people pay the church and consider their payments evidence of church membership. Payments, even sacrificial payments, do not make someone a member of the church. Some people are employed by or serve the church voluntarily and consider that their employment or service evidence their membership in the church. Neither employment nor service make someone a member of the church.

Attendance at the gathering is by invitation and never coerced. In this age, everyone11 is invited to the church, however, not everyone who gathers is a member of the church.12

When the church disperses from its gathering, the members are still members of the church and sometimes referred to as the church informally.


Brandon Blankenship
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  1. Matthew 18:20, Hebrews 12:23.
  2. See generally, Romans 8:28-30
  3. Matthew 16:18.
  4. 1 John 4:8, 16.
  5. 1 Thessalonians 3:12
  6. Luke 10:26–37.
  7. John 14:15.
  8. Ephesians 8:5-6.
  9. Deut. 10:17–19; 16:11, 14; 24:17–21; 26:12–13; 27:15; Jer. 7:6; 22:3; Ezek. 22:7; Psalm 94:6; 146:9; Mal. 3:5.
  10. Matthew 6:24.
  11. Romans 3:23, 5:12, 5:18, 10:9,13.
  12. Matthew 13:24-30.