Thank you for your interest in learning how to become a member of Grace Baptist Church. Before sharing details of how to join our fellowship, it might prove beneficial to consider some REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN A HEALTHY LOCAL CHURCH. While the New Testament almost always uses the word "church" in the context of the local church, the Bible does not command us to join a local church. So, we took some time to consider some worthwhile reasons why one should join a healthy local church. We define healthy in terms of a Biblically based, Gospel centered church. The reasons below are not exhaustive, but we do hope that you will find them helpful.
- A reason to join a healthy local church is because the Gospel is made clear. The Gospel is not only defined through preaching and teaching but is made visible by Christians who gather to form congregations of believers. Though our backgrounds may vary, it is the Gospel that unites us.
- A reason to join a local church is to fellowship with other believers. In becoming members, we align ourselves with other believers who purpose to encourage, exhort, and edify one another in their Christian walk. Expressed differently, by entering into church membership we commit ourselves to "doing life together" with others who profess to be brothers and sisters in Christ. It is through our love for one another that others recognize that we are Christ's disciples.
- A reason to join a healthy local church is to align yourself with like-minded believers who have submitted to God' governing authority for believers. Let's face it; submission has become a loaded word full of negative connotations in our culture. But, when we think of the Lord Jesus Christ, one of the most beautiful characteristics He exemplified was a willful submission to the Father. God's plan and pattern for His people involves them submitting to those in spiritual leadership. Spiritual leaders in the local church watch over and care for the people of God.
The authority of the local church is based upon the Word of God and is not meant to be harsh or oppressive. On the contrary, the authority of the local church is meant to be parental, building its members up and working for their benefit. If you are not a member of a local church, it is very likely that the spiritual leaders may not know your name. As a result, they may not pray for you regularly or even know whether or not you are a Christian. We believe God expects every Christian to belong to a local church. A Christian without a church family is a contradiction in terms (read Ephesians 2:19-22). Here are five reasons you need to join a local church.
- Biblical Reason:
Christ is committed to the church. “…Christ loved the church, and He gave His life for it.” Ephesians 5:25 We should love what Christ loved.
- Maturity Reason:
While you can be a Christian without the church, we have found you will not be a strong or mature one. The best environment for Christian maturity is found in the church.
- Support Reason:
We try to minister and care for our membership. We pray for them, visit them, encourage them, and comfort them. Membership identifies our family and helps us care for you better.
- Ministry Reason:
Every team has a roster. It shows who can be counted on to help serve. We have found that members are more involved in service/ministry more often than non-members. That pleases God, helps others, and grows spiritual strength. Simply put, members are usually better Membership identifies our community and family. It defines who can be entrusted with positions of leadership within the church.
- Personal Reason:
Spiritual stability occurs in the church. “Lone Ranger Christians” are often unstable and undependable. Christians need a church family to remain strong and grow. The happiest and healthiest Christians are those involved in a local church. The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. A person cannot be accountable when they are not committed to any specific church family.
- Cultural Reason:
We live in an age where very few want to be committed to anything…a job, a marriage, or family. This attitude has produced a generation of church hoppers and shoppers. Membership swims against the current of America’s consumer mentality and is an antidote to society. Membership sets apart from the culture allowing us to preserve our distinctive Christian beliefs and values.