Why commit as a member of a church?
The concept of membership and belonging to a local faith community is one that has its origins in the early church and runs throughout all of church history. Nowhere in the New Testament is there an example of someone experiencing salvation with Christ but not being deeply connected and committed to a local community of believers. Rather, what we see are believers joining together in a local assembly and devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer (Acts 2:42-47).
For many of us the word “member” relates more to things like a gym, club or frequent-flyer program. Usually it’s something where a person receives special rights and privileges in exchange for payment. But in Scripture we see the Apostle Paul using the term “member” in a bodily sense to describe the individual connectedness that believers have with one another in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). Thus, membership in a church is not so much an opportunity to say, “I’m a part of a club”, but rather an expression of deep spiritual connectedness and interdependency with other believers living together under Christ, the head of the body, and representing him in the world.
In understanding church membership it’s also important to acknowledge the influence we encounter from our current individualistic and noncommittal culture. Often we would prefer to keep our options open, preserve our freedom to come and go as we want, and attempt to maintain a privatized relationship with Jesus. But God’s plan calls for another way. It’s a way that puts down roots, cultivates authentic relationships, makes longstanding commitments and submits to spiritual authority – all together providing a spiritual family for the journey of real life in all its ups and downs.
Ultimately, committing to a church in membership is less about personal preferences and more about biblical obedience. It’s embracing God’s way for his followers to live together in a covenant community that provides accountability, protection, spiritual maturing and the building up of the body of Christ to join in his work of redeeming the world.
EMBRACE MEMBERSHIP COVENANT
As the covenant community of
Embrace Church we commit to:
Living together under a common framework of vision and values.
Gathering weekly with the church for worship.
Connection to a small group or other network of discipling relationships.
Serving within the church body.
Giving of financial resources towards the mission of Embrace.
Questions for the Covenant of Membership
Do you confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
Do you believe in the Christian faith as contained in the Old and New Testaments?
Do you promise to live and grow as a disciple of Jesus?
Will you partner with Embrace with your prayers, presence, gifts and service?