In a sermon preached on October 24, 1869, Charles Spurgeon said:
Now I know there are some who say, “Well, I hope I have given myself to the Lord, but I do not intend to give myself to any church, because…” Now, why not? “Because I can be a Christian without it.” Now, are you quite clear about that? You can be as good a Christian by disobedience to your Lord’s commands as by being obedient?
Well, suppose everybody else did the same? Suppose all Christians in the world said, “I shall not join the Church.” Why there would be no visible Church! There would be no ordinances! That would be a very bad thing and yet, one doing it—what is right for one is right for all—why should not all of us do it? Then you believe that if you were to do an act which has a tendency to destroy the visible Church of God, you would be as good a Christian as if you did your best to build up that Church? I do not believe it, Sir! Nor do you, either. You have not any such a belief—it is only a trumpery excuse for something else.
There is a brick—a very good one. What is the brick made for? To help to build a house with. It is of no use for that brick to tell you that it is just as good a brick while it is kicking about on the ground as it would be in the house. It is a good-for-nothing brick! Until it is built into the wall, it is no good! So you rolling-stone Christians, I do not believe that you are answering your purpose—you are living contrary to the life which Christ would have you live—and you are much to blame for the injury you do!
Now, of course we can formally belong to a local church while at the same time functionally it is as if we didn’t belong to any church. In other words, we can be a church member without actively seeking to do our “best to build up that Church” as Spurgeon said above. The calling to be a part of a local church is a calling to actively and consistently pour into that body seeking to build one another up in love (Eph. 4:15-16). Let us, by God’s grace, avoid being “rolling-stone Christians” both formally and functionally.