‘For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others’
Paul’s words do have a universal sense, in that all Christians everywhere belong to one another and will one day be physically gathered together around Jesus in heaven. And yet while we wait for that day to come at the return of Jesus, we understand the vast majority of times the word ‘church’ is used in the bible, it refers to local churches. That is, individual expressions of that heavenly reality with God’s people coming together in specific locations around God’s Word.
Church Membership is nothing more than defining who the members of any particular church are, keeping in mind that the church is its members. We won’t know who the church is unless we know who its members are, and we offer Church Membership Classes to give people an opportunity to make an informed decision about whether they’d like to become members of this particular church.
We believe this is so important to the life of a healthy church because there is so much more to church than attending on a Sunday morning. We often say that the church is not a service to attend, but a body to belong. The church is a family of believers who are committed to one another in Christ by guarding each other’s lives and reputations, partnering in the mission of making Jesus known, and supporting one another in love as we seek to present one another mature in Christ.
For this to happen to the degree it should, the members of the church need to be identified so we know who we are. From there, we can continue to gather on Sunday mornings and invite all who want to join along-side us, and at the same time have the opportunity to get together without the neighbours present, so to speak, but just as family to deal with family matters.
These would include welcoming in new members and farewelling others properly, identifying potential elders from among us to lead us, making decisions on how to act as a church with regard to social issues, talking about finances, and so much more.
We believe that becoming a member of the body of Christ should be no more or less than what God requires of us to become citizens of heaven. Jesus is both the doorway to enter heaven and the gate to enter the sheep pen. This is what we’re ultimately making clear in our Membership Classes.
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