The word "member" conveys the idea that we have a relationship, a fellowship, with one another. The Greek word melos means literally "limb" or "part" of the body and is where we get the word "melody." It is this thought when Paul wrote in Romans 12:4-5, "we are members of one another."
The early Greek writers would only use melos in the plural sense, which really emphasizes how much we need one another. Yet some people do not understand the importance of being a member of the local church. They feel that being a Christian and a part of the universal church is enough. They say, "I don't have to go to a building to worship God."
Rick Warren summarizes C.S. Lewis' thought on church membership by saying, "Any organ that is detached from the body will not only miss what it was created to be, it will also shrivel and die quickly. The same is true for Christians that are uncommitted to any specific congregation." (Purpose Driven Church, page 310).
We are actually privileged and blessed to be an active member of the local body of Christ. Christ used three analogies of how we are interdependent on each other in the church:
- We are Interdependent as a family (Romans 8:15)
- We are Interdependent as a fellowship (1 John 1:3-9)
- We are Interdependent as a flock of sheep (John 10)
We need each other as members of a fellowship, as seen in 1 John 1:3, that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.