I recently taught a class on Ecclesiology. That's just a big word for "Doctrine of the Church." I mentioned to the students that most of the people who attend a local church have no concept of the "church."
One of the points of the lesson was local church government. Where does the authority of the local church reside? In nearly all local churches which are sanctioned as non-profit organizations by their state, there is a charter, constitution or by-laws on file.
Usually, when an individual unites with a local assembly, they are unaware of how the leadership of the church operates. Most people are unconcerned, or do not care. That is, until there is a problem. Then, it is too late.
As increased scrutiny continues on the local church, by government and outsiders, it is important to know your church's doctrine, mission and purpose. At New Piney Grove, we strive to keep members abreast by providing information pertaining to membership privilege and responsibilities. New members are issued a copy of our By-Laws and Church Policies and Procedures. But there is an old saying: "you can lead a horse to water, but..."