Church Membership as a specific phrase does not occur in the Bible. However, Church membership represents a vital biblical principle. One who desires church membership desires to receive biblical shepherding and counsel, to make a special commitment to a specific church, and to submit to the loving leadership of that church. Church membership indicates maturity and fosters spiritual growth. Church members renounce the desire to act independently, selfishly, unbiblically or defiantly with regard to the other members and the church leadership. One who refuses church membership may need to reform his spiritual motivations.
Membership is for believers in good standing. Unbelievers are ineligible. Believers who receive membership must have no unresolved sin issues. Members who refuse to resolve sin issues receive church discipline, which may involve the revocation of membership and forfeiture of all relationships with those in the church. One who is excluded from the church may be an unbeliever, or a believer who needs to repair his relationship with God and His people. A person under discipline may reenter the church when he repents. One who never repents was most likely never a Christian.
Membership means commitment to one local church. Membership in more than one local church is not practicable. Church members in good standing may terminate or change their membership for various reasons.