Is church membership really important? Can't I just come regularly, give as I feel led, and serve the people in the church without ever officially joining? Is the membership biblical, or an artifact of church tradition?
These objections are increasingly common in our day, and they're fair questions. Here's our brief response:
We believe having formal membership helps us live out the New Testament picture of a church better. A commitment to an individual congregation adds focus to the Christian life. It helps Christians know those they can turn to in times of need, and it helps church leaders know whom they are responsible to lead. The process of joining also gives prospective members the opportunity to study our church’s beliefs and learn about our ministries, and it gives the pastor a chance to get to know new members.
One of the purposes of our "Membership Meetings" is to learn more about the meaning of membership at GCBC. Feel free to start the membership process even if you're a little uneasy about the model. If you want to look into more reasons for church membership, we recommend these brief articles.
- An experience of regeneration (conversion), including a credible profession of faith in Jesus Christ and the desire for your life to imitate his life.
- Baptism (after conversion)
- Affirm GCBC’s doctrinal statement and church covenant.
- Display a concern for the spiritual condition of your fellow church member.
- Strive to maintain the unity of the church.
- Attend our public gatherings regularly, including members meetings.
- Support the church with your finances, as you’re able.
- Request a membership meeting by filling out the form below. You may also request this meeting by filling out the “Connect Card” during our Sunday morning service. A church leader will contact you to set up a meeting time.
- After the meeting, your name will be placed in the church bulletin as a prospective member.
- You will be formally presented for membership at a designated time during a Sunday morning service, and the church will vote to receive you as a member.
Membership candidates will typically be asked these questions as they join the church:
- Do you acknowledge yourself to be a sinner in the sight of God, that you justly deserve His displeasure, and that you have no hope unless he shows you mercy?
- Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and trust Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the gospel?
- Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance on the Holy Spirit, that you will strive to live as a follower of Christ?
- Do you submit yourself to the government and discipline of GCBC?
- Do you promise to support the church to the best of your ability and to work for its purity and peace?