It is said that there are only two kind of church people – those who surprise the congregation when they attend, and those who surprise the congregation when they don’t attend. Are you a prayer-answered surprise to the church when you attend, or are you a concerned surprise to the church because you were not there one service? Do you walk into church as a stranger, or as a member?

The explanation of a believer’s status in God’s Church is explained in Ephesians 2:19-22.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

True believers were at one time strangers, but have been joined to the group of saints, and have been made members of God’s Church. Our foundation is the inspired record of the ministry of the New Testament apostles and prophets, all being held in line by our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. The result is that each true believer is part of the local expression of God’s Church where each of us are growing, and joined to others to grow spiritually.

As Ephesians 4:16 explains later, true believers function as active members, not strangers, in a local church.

from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

So when a stranger and a member walk into a church, which are you?