You can be a member of all sorts of organizations today. You can join a gym, join a sports team, join a community service organization, join a political group, or join a new company. But becoming part of a church is an entirely different matter because the church is not just another organization in our world. The church is a spiritual reality, the Body and Bride of Christ. Membership in the church is a serious and sacred matter.
As we see at the end of Acts 2, the early church was no ordinary group of people. They were devoted to biblical truth and to one another. They prayed together, ate together, worshiped together, gave their possessions together, served their community together, were thankful together. And most amazing of all, it was God who added to their number. In an attempt to better explain this mysterious community, the New Testament uses several analogies:
The church is a family, and Jesus is the Elder Brother.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13; cf. Rom. 8:29; Gal. 6:10; Eph. 2:19)
The church is a flock, and Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:14-15; cf. Acts 20:28-29; 1 Pet. 5:2-4)
The church is a temple, and Jesus is the Cornerstone.
…the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.(Ephesians 2:19-22; cf. 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:4-5)
The church is a body, and Jesus is the Head.
And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.(Ephesians 1:22-23; cf. Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-31; Col. 1:18, 2:18-19)
5 Reasons to Join a Church
There are many reasons to join a church. We agree with Pastor Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC, in his list of five primary reasons:
Join a church for non-Christians.
Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Join a church for weaker Christians.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
Join a church for stronger Christians.
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16)
Join a church for church leaders.
So I exhort the elders… shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:1-3)
Join a church for Jesus.
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Baptists have always believed that a local church is defined as a body of baptized believers in covenant with God and one another. Based upon a common faith, church members dedicate themselves to a common mission. A church’s covenant, therefore, states the commitments required for individual membership in the church and guides the overall ministry of the church by defining our God-given mission. The church covenant expresses how we intend, by God’s grace, to live a life of love for God and neighbor.
The church covenant of FBCMB involves four basic promises. We covenant to pursue God together through worship each Lord’s Day. We covenant to commit to others by serving one another in the church family. We covenant to stretch ourselves by growing in our faith through study, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines. Finally, we covenant to build the kingdom of God by giving our lives – our relationships, resources, time, abilities, etc. – to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with the world.
Ready to Commit?
If after reading this you find yourself in agreement with our church’s understanding of the requirements, responsibilities, and privileges of membership, and if you feel the Lord leading you to enter into the membership of our church family, we ask that you contact one of our pastors by phone or email. We would like to get to know you, hear your testimony of salvation, and pray with you regarding this important decision.
You can reach our pastors by emailing or calling the church office at 281.576.2297.