How is church membership like a marriage? Well, the church is the bride and Christ the bridegroom. The church local is as much the bride as the church universal. Each member is as important as the other and all play a part in the marriage. When one takes a vow to attach themselves to a particular church, much like when they take vows to their spouse, it is not meant to be temporary. Membership should be considered binding. People today just leave as the wind blows: ‘The worship is better down the street’. “I like their mission mentality over there!” “They don’t hold to a tithe!” “Their preacher moves me more than my pastor”. “I will have more opportunities at First Church West”. Let me give you a clue; It’s not all about you! God has ordained and decreed where you sit. If you are a believer and are not in sin, good chance that you are within God’s perfect will. Submit, dig in, pray hard and wait on the Lord. Abandoning your vows to your local church by leaving for the silly reason you did is ridiculous. Well, you may say, “Scott, are you saying that members should never leave their local bodies?” Of course not. We send missionaries. These things are acceptable. However, leaving your local church for a church down the street, imo, is weak at best. ‘What if the church I attend is too far for me to travel and I find one closer to my home-Can’t I transfer my membership?” Yes you can. Do it correctly though. Meet with your pastor and explain the issue; He will call the receiving church’s pastor and chat with him; recommend you; give you a letter of reference and transfer. Does this actually happen? No, and thats the breakdown. The bride is a bit schizophrenic due to it’s members being poorly taught. Which brings us to the issue of discipleship here in America, if you can call it that.

Leaving churches nowadays is the norm; Most times it is because the member is displeased and whining. Many people in this age refuse to buckle in for the ride. They refuse to suffer under restrictions, oversight and biblical submission. They bail out when the going gets tough. You don’t see this ever in scripture! This is obviously based upon the illicit understanding of what membership actually means. All of us who have left churches are aware of the destructive paths we have left-all the damaged relationships. Is this not akin to a divorce? 

As I said earlier, most people don’t get this. Whose fault is that? The leadership, for not teaching the doctrine properly. What is the effect from failing to teach the doctrine of membership properly? A bunch of non committing, non submitting, schizophrenic club attenders, not biblical church members.

Finally, Marriage is a covenant. In the same way, when we take membership vows, we are covenanting with the local body; we are saying to God, ‘for better or for worse’. Do we believe this? No.

Ecclesiastes 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

Job 22:27 Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.

Psalm 61:5 For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name..