As part of our series We are all in this Together, we promoting a book written by John Stott called The Living Church.
This is what he says in his opening chapter:
“First, I am assuming that we are all committed to the church. We are not only Christian people; we are also church people. We are not only committed to Christ, we are also committed to the body of Christ. At least I hope so. I trust that none of my readers is that grotesque anomaly, an unchurched Christian. The New Testament knows nothing of such a person. The church lies at the very centre of the eternal purpose of God. It is not a divine afterthought. …
On the contrary, the church is God’s new community. For his purpose, conceived in a past eternity, being worked out in history, and to be perfected in the future eternity, is not just to save isolated individuals and so perpetuate our loneliness, but rather to build his church, that is, to call out of the world a people for his own glory. Indeed, Christ dies for us, not only to redeem us from all wickedness but also to purify for himself a people that are his own eager to do what is good (Titus 2:14).” John Stott: The Living Church p19-20, IVP, 2007.
In other words there is no such thing as an unchurched christian. Acts 2: 47 comes to mind;
And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.Being saved and being added to the number appear inseparable. Tim Chester gives the Biblical Theological take here.
All useful for thinking through the vision God has for his church.