We recognize that, collectively, we are more than just an evangelistic or teaching organization. We are a community of faith in Jesus Christ. A community formed by the Gospel and for the Gospel, and while various meetings of our community include attendees and guests, we also have fully participating members. The difference between attendees and members can be summed up in one word: commitment.
The Bible actually describes two kinds of membership commitment. The first is membership within the universal Body of Christ; one body of believers that transcends space and time. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 2:13-22, 4:3-6; Colossians 1:13-22). Membership in the universal church of Jesus Christ is based solely on faith in Christ’s merit and grace. This membership is eternal and unchanging. The Bible also urges members of His universal body to become members of a specific local assembly (Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:25-31, 14:12, 26; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Timothy 3:14-15).
Biblical: Christ is committed to the church (Ephesians 5:25) and so we should be as well. In the New Testament believers clearly identified with a local church community and were challenged to become committed participants.
Cultural: Our culture lacks commitment. This produces the phenomenon of “church hoppers.” Membership swims against the current of “consumer religion” by building character through commitment to a local body.
Practical: Membership defines who can be counted on to build and sustain the ministries of the church. It identifies our community, and it helps the leaders of the church fulfill their task of shepherding and oversight.
Personal: Membership provides proper care to the member by holding each of us accountable to the truth of God’s Word. Membership can be a significant defining moment in one’s lifelong discipleship journey.