MembershipChurch membership statement
In a day when commitment is a rare commodity, it is a privilege to see the body of Christ come together in a common mission and vision through the partnership of church membership standing together committed to the call.
When an individual is saved, he/she becomes a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13 ). Because he/she is united to Christ and the other members of the body in this way, he/she is therefore qualified to become member of a local expression of that body.
To become a member of a church is to formally commit oneself to an identifiable, local body of believers who have joined together for specific, divinely ordained purposes. These purposes include receiving instruction from God's Word (1 Tim 4:13 ; 2 Tim 4:2 ), serving and edifying one another through the proper use of spiritual gifts (Rom 12:3-8 ; 1 Cor 12:4-31 ; 1 Pet 4:10-11 ), participating in the ordinances (Luke 22:19 ; Acts 2:38-42 ), and proclaiming the gospel to those who are lost (Matt 28:18- 20 ). In addition, when one becomes a member of a church, he/she submits himself/herself to the care and the authority of the biblically qualified elders that God has placed in that assembly.Although Scripture does not contain an explicit command to formally join a local church, the biblical foundation for church membership permeates the New Testament. This biblical basis can be seen most clearly in:
- The example of the early church
- The existence of church government
- The exercise of church discipline
- The exhortation to mutual edification
Living out a commitment to a local church involves many responsibilities: exemplifying a godly lifestyle in the community, exercising one's spiritual gifts in diligent service, contributing financially to the work of the ministry, giving and receiving admonishment with meekness and in love, and faithfully participating in corporate worship. Much is expected, but much is at stake. For only when every believer is faithful to this kind of commitment is the church able to live up to her calling as Christ's representative here on earth. To put it simply, membership matters.