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Why should I be part of the church?

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“Why should I be part of the church?”

Series: The Church [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

September 1, 2019

Introductory Comments:

Well, this is it. We are concluding our four-week series on the Church.

Next week, we’ll have a special message for Invite Your One, and then we’ll be back in the book of Matthew. I can’t wait; I miss Matthew. However, I’ve enjoyed our series on the Church. 

Thus far we’ve learned what the church is, we’ve learned who leads and serves the church, and we’ve learned what the ordinances of the church are.

Today, let’s talk about why all of this matters for you. You might have this question, “Why should I be part of the church?” Well, today we’re going to answer that question. Before we do, let’s pray together.


Have you ever had someone share some information with you and you kind of wonder, “Why does that matter to me?” Perhaps you’ll say to the person, “Thanks for sharing that,” but you don’t know what else to say. 

Well, I don’t want anyone to feel that way after hearing about the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What the Bible teaches about the church matters. You need to know why you should be a part of the church. 

We’re going to discover four answers to the question of why you should be part of the church. Are you ready?

First, . . .

I. The Bible teaches it. [on screen]

The Word of God teaches that you should be part of a church. 

Perhaps the most famous passage on this topic is from Hebrews 10. Listen to what the author of Hebrews says:

23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. [on screen]

The people of God are designed to gather together. 

There is a “oneanotherness” in the church of Jesus Christ. You are not called to live out your faith alone. You are called to be a part of a body of other followers of Jesus Christ. 

The author of Hebrews explicitly says not to neglect to gather together. Therefore, if you neglect to gather together, you are violating the Word of God. 

Additionally, listen to what Paul says in Romans 12:4-5:

4 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. [on screen]

Remember, the church refers to the gathered people. The Bible gives many pictures of the church which speak of a plurality of members, including a body. 

We’ll talk about this again, but for now, we can see that the Bible explicitly says that the body is made up of individual members. If you are an individual follower of Jesus Christ, you should be a member of a body of Christians; you should be a member of a church. 

Again, Paul speaks in Ephesians 2:18-19:

18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household. [on screen]

Paul not only says we are members of the body of Christ, but we are members of God’s household. If you are a member of God’s household, you must be present with God’s household; you must be present with your brothers and sisters in Christ. 

The Christian faith is not designed by God to be lived out in isolation. It’s meant to be lived out as part of a church family. 

The Bible teaches this fact. 

The Bible teaches that you should be part of a church. 

Second, . . .

II. The church needs you. [on screen]

The church cannot function without individuals members.

Listen to what Paul says about this in 1 Corinthians 12. 

12 For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all given one Spirit to drink. 14 Indeed, the body is not one part but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” it is not for that reason any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” it is not for that reason any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But as it is, God has arranged each one of the parts in the body just as he wanted. 19 And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that are weaker are indispensable. 23 And those parts of the body that we consider less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unrespectable parts are treated with greater respect, 24 which our respectable parts do not need. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, 25 so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. 26 So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. [on screen]

If you are a follower of Jesus, the church needs you. You are an integral part of the body. Just as the hand is important, and the eye is important, and the appendix does something. So also, you’re an important part of the body of Christ. 

Here’s what Ephesians 4:16 says:

16 From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part. [on screen]

Paul says in this passage that the body of Christ holds itself together with its members. He even compares people to ligaments. The individual members of the body hold each other up and help the body to continue to grow in love. How awesome is that?

The church is dependent upon you to be held together and built up!

You might think, “Come on, Pastor Matt. Does the church really need me?” The answer is, “Yes! We need you as a committed member of our church.”

You see we often don’t understand what church membership means. We think of it like we think of being members of other organizations, like civic groups or country clubs. It’s not like that!

The church was designed by God to act as His people and His body. The church needs you in order to be a church. 

Here are some reasons why the church needs individuals members, including you:

1. The church needs you to love them. There’s plenty of hate in the world. We need love. We need you to love us. 

2. The church needs you to participate in worship. If you’re not worshiping we can’t have worship service. 

3. The church needs you to give. We have ministries, missions, and mandatory bills which cost money. We need you to give sacrificially so we can operate as a church. 

4. The church needs you to serve. The church has a lot of ministry happening and we have a lot more to do. We need you to use your gifts to serve. 

5. The church needs you to hold them accountable. We need each other to build up each other in holiness. 


One of the issues in church participation today is this issue that many people come to the church as consumers rather than contributors. They want to see what the church can do for them, rather than what they can do as part of the church. 

How can I be entertained and blessed by the sermon and music?

How can my kids be entertained and blessed by the children’s ministry and the youth ministry?

What kind of activities and trips does the church take?

Are the style and decor the way that I like it? Can I be satisfied?

Now, some of this is natural when we’re looking for a church home. However, I would like to see these questions shift to questions like these:

Is the Gospel proclaimed here?

Does this church love Jesus and others?

How can I be used by God at this church?

How can I contribute to the glory of God at this church?

Being a member of a church should not be about consuming, it should be about contributing. 

Membership doesn’t mean just putting your name on a list. Membership doesn’t mean that your name is written in heaven because it’s on a church roll. Membership is a commitment to being a part of the body of Christ. The church needs you, and if you commit to the church, you should be committed to the church. 

Not only does the church need you, but, third . . .

III. You need the church. [on screen]

Did you know that you needed the church?

As we’ve learned, God’s design for His people is that they would be part of His body. 

Being a follower of Jesus means being a part of a church.

As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:20-21, which we read earlier:

20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” [on screen]

A follower of Jesus cannot say that he or she doesn’t need the church. That’s foolishness. 

You need the church. 

Now, you might have a bad experience at a church, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be a part of church. 

I got food poisoning once, but I sure didn’t stop eating food. I got over the food poisoning and now I’m eating food again.

You don’t stop going to church because someone hurt you, or you had a bad experience. If you can’t continue to worship for some reason at one church, find another and participate faithfully. You need that in your life. 

Again, you need the church for a variety of reasons:

1. The church is designed to love you when you’re hurting. 

2. The church is designed to hold you accountable. 

3. The church is designed to disciple you. 

4. The church is designed to strengthen you when you’re weak. 

5. The church is God’s design for corporate worship. 

6. The church is designed to provide fellowship for you.

And, so much more!

You need the church!

Finally, . . .

IV. The mission is dependent upon churches. [on screen]

What is the mission? The mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples. 

Listen to the most famous passage on the mission, Matthew 28:18-20:

18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [on screen]

We are to go and make disciples. This vision was given to all the followers of Jesus Christ and it was intended to be carried out through the power of the Holy Spirit working through local churches. 

All the missionary and church planting movements found in the New Testament took place through local churches sending people out to preach the Gospel. 

Listen to how Paul speaks to the Philippian church. Look at Philippians 2:1-2:

1 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. [on screen]

The church has one purpose, to make disciples of Jesus Christ. 

Our vision as a church is dependent upon you being a part of our church. Our vision is to develop disciples who love God, love the church, and love others. We need you to be a part of that. 

Concluding Thoughts:

Why should you be a part of the church? Because the Bible teaches that you should, because the church needs you, because you need the church, and because the mission of the church depends on your involvement in the church. 

That is the way God planned it, which takes us to our bottom line:

Bottom Line: You were created for the church and the church was created for you. [on screen]


That’s why you should be a part of the church.

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Consider your commitment to the local church.  [on screen]

Where are you when it comes to the church?

Do you believe what the Bible teaches?

How does that affect you?

  1. Love the church.  [on screen]

Part of why we exist is to love the church. 

Take some time this week to love the church. 

Think of a practical way to do so. 

  1. Make a decision to be all in with the church. [on screen]

Be committed. We need your commitment. Serve, love, pray, hold accountable, give, and more. 

Some of you have yet to join the church. We’d love to have you. We need you. 


You should be a part of the church because Jesus gave His life for you to be redeemed and be a part of His church. 

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

Invitation Song – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus 


If you have any sort of spiritual decision that you would like to make, you can contact me or any of our staff and we would be glad to talk to you anytime.

Don’t forget about Invite Your One [on screen], which is coming up next Sunday. If you haven’t already, invite someone to be with us for this high attendance Sunday. Be sure to be in prayer for them this week and follow up with them sometime later this week.

Also, be sure to check out the bulletin for information about Realm. Realm is our membership management software, which will allow you to give online, check out your year to date giving, as well as interact with the groups that you’re a part of. You need an invitation to join that, so if you would like one, contact the church office or simply write your name on a connection card with the word “Realm” at the top. 

We’re so glad to love others by participating in our Adopt a School program at Floral Avenue elementary. We’re going to have a special breakfast for the staff on September 16. There will be more information about this in the bulletin later, but I simply wanted to draw your attention to it now.

Finally, there will be no evening service tonight as it’s Labor Day weekend. Enjoy some time with your family and eat all that extra food that you bought for the hurricane. 

Let’s dismiss by singing the Doxology. 

(Sing Doxology)

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