Matt Chandler has written a good article on local church membership.  He at one time was not convinced because of the church experiences he had as a younger Christian.  However, the Scripture always trumps our feelings, or we are rebuking Jesus, even as Peter did when he told Jesus not to go to the cross.  Our place is behind Jesus. Disciples follow Him.  Jesus died not to just save individuals so they could have a home in heaven. He died to create a new blood-bought humanity that would in humble unified diversity would bear witness to our amazing King of grace in and through proclaiming and living out our new identity in response to the Gospel.

Here is the link to the article.   Belonging to the Bride of Christ