Is the Christian life something that can be lived in isolation? Does Jesus save people from the judgment that was hanging over them on account of their sin, in order that they might serve as an individual, isolated lights of His grace? Or, does He save individuals and call them to live in unity with other individuals in order that they might present one, unified, light of His grace as a testimony to the world?
While it may be an American ideal to stand as an individual and live a life free from dependance on anyone else, it is not a Scriptural ideal. It is not our love for our independence that will cause the world to take notice, it is our love for one another in Christ (). We are all parts of one body; we are not whole on our own but interdependent on one another ().
Why church membership? Because life in the Spirit is life in community. We willingly, joyfully, join with other believers with whom we have agreement in the aspects of faith and practice that are necessary to have unity in worship. We join with others with whom we commit to serve and who commit to serve us. We join with others who we are confident will not let us stumble and fall, but who will hold us accountable and even rescue us from the fire (). Church membership is a mechanism by which we follow our Lord’s command and bind or loose on earth ().
Why church membership? Because we are all members of one body if we are in Christ. Because there is much benefit in recognizing who we are doing life with. Because we recognize that without a great measure of unity in faith and practice we will not be able to freely and effectively worship together or reach the community effectively.
We join with one another, in the local body of Christ, in church membership, because we believe that this is in keeping with the principles laid out in Scripture concerning God’s will for Christ’s bride.
Why church membership? For the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom.
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
One Body with Many Members
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves  or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,  yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment  stained by the flesh.
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
 1:23 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
If Your Brother Sins Against You
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed  in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
 18:18 Or shall have been bound . . . shall have been loosed