“Take a census….from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you shall number them….” (Numbers 1:1ff.)
The culture which sees no point in “a piece of paper” to make a marriage official just as easily dismisses the notion of Christians actually joining a church.
Can we talk about that?
A husband and wife who were regular worshipers with my church, but never actually joined and became members, would sign their Christmas card, “Your common law members.”
A lot of churches are trying to build their ministries on “common law” members. These people attend, profess a love for Jesus, and say they believe His word, but they make no commitment to the body of believers and put themselves under the authority of no leaders. They are free to come and go without being accountable to anyone.
Dating churches is all the rage these days.
More and more churches, particularly the startups seeking to appeal to this culture, are counting as “theirs” anyone who attends on a regular basis. In the same way, Christians are deciding they do not need to join anyone’s church to please God.
Actually, I happen to know the primary attractions to a paperless congregation The leadership loves it because they are not accountable. With no membership to vote on decisions, they do as they please. The pastor gets by with whatever he can convince his board is justifiable.
Show me that in the Bible.