Becoming a member of a church is an important part of the Christian life. Yet, the trend these days is one of shunning the practice of organized religion and showing a distaste or fear of commitment, especially of institutions. In Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus, Jonathan Leeman addresses these issues with a straightforward explanation of what church membership is and why it’s important. Giving the local church its proper due, Leeman has built a compelling case for committing to the local body.
“Christians don’t join churches; they submit to them.” (Page 30)
“5) The first step of the Christian life is baptism—always.” (Page 44)
“1) The church’s very existence unifies around the message of a Savior and Lord.” (Page 42)
“2) Christians are ordinarily united to individual but interconnected churches.” (Page 43)
“8) Christian leaders are made responsible for specific sheep.” (Page 45)
Church leaders across many denominations will find this little book filled with practical ideas and good arguments that will help us cure Christians in our culture today of their allergy to church membership, pastoral authority, life accountability, and any limits to their personal freedom.
—Timothy Keller, senior pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City
Brief, fresh, entertaining, and, above all, biblical. This is the explanation and defense of church membership you’ve been looking for.
—Mark Dever, president, 9Marks
Practical. Convicting. Biblically faithful. Leeman reminds us that church membership is not a choice but a demand. The book is punchy and provocative, but at the same time it is permeated with the gospel of grace.
—Thomas R. Schreiner, professor of New Testament interpretation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Jonathan Leeman received his MDiv at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington, DC. He also serves as director of communications for 9Marks and is the editor of its ejournal. Leeman is the author of The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love and has been published in several major newspapers and Christian periodicals.