At FBC Webb City we want to have meaningful church membership. We believe official membership to a local church body is a biblical precedence. In the New Testament there are instances where letters were sent with a Christian from one church family to carry with them to another city's church family. These letters verified to the new church family that the traveler was a genuine convert to Christ and a committed follower of the way of Christ. Paul also makes mention of a Christian being among the "number" of a church body. See Acts 18:27; Colossians 4:12.
Furthermore we see membership is biblical when we think about letters entitled Ephesians, Galatians, Corinthians, etc. These letters are clearly applicable to the church worldwide, however they were originally written to a specific local church (Ephesus, Corinth, etc.). This implies that the church knew and understood who belonged to their local congregation. For example, one would have understood if they belonged to the church of Ephesus, or Corinth, and so forth.
Finally, Pastors (Elders/Overseers) are spoken of in the New Testament as being over specific congregations. If a Pastor/Elder is held accountable for how they shepherd the flock God has placed them over, this implies there was a clear way of knowing who belonged to the flock. For example, a Pastor in the church of Ephesus would not be accountable for shepherding also the people in the church at Rome. The implication is each Pastor has a way of determining who belongs to their church. They knew who they were held accountable for to pastor and teach. This all implies some system of church membership. See 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Peter 5:1-14.
With this biblical model set before us, we seek to define meaningful membership for our church. This helps our pastors know whom they are directly held accountable by God to shepherd and watch over. This also helps the members have a meaningful church family to be in fellowship with and share life with.