When it comes to the question of church membership these days the conversation may often go something like this:
Why should I become a church member anyway? I am not sure I want to become that committed. Besides, I really don’t see membership in the Bible. I can still go to church and be involved without joining. After all, all believers are part of the universal church anyhow.
The word “committed” is really the reason why membership is important.
- What is Church Membership?
- Active members of Bainbridge First Baptist are those persons who have intentionally gone through the process of membership, committed themselves to be part of and uphold the Church family and its values, and have all the membership rights and responsibilities provided in the constitution.
- What are the Qualifications for Membership?
- Qualifications for membership start with a personal commitment of faith in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins and salvation along with evidence of a changed heart. Along with this is Scriptural baptism by immersion as an outward testimony of your salvation. These are the primary qualifications. Agreement on our basic beliefs, constitution and church covenant is also important. Completion of our Membership Class is strongly encouraged so you understand our history, teachings, function, goals, purpose and where you fit in.
- Why commit to church membership?
- A Biblical Reason: Christ is committed to the church. “…Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Ephesians 5:25 Jesus said, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 Therefore, the church is the most unique organization in the world. Christ died for it and guarantees it’s success. Shouldn’t we at least be committed to His body the church? (The word “church” means a called out body of believers.)
- A Cultural Reason: It is good remedy for our world.
We live in an age where few want to be committed to anything including a job, marriage, or our country. This attitude has produced “consumer religion.” Becoming a member is an unselfish decision that focuses upon the importance of others and relationships.
- A Practical Reason: Being a member clearly defines who can be counted on. Every ship has its crew. Every team has a roll of players. Every business has a list of employees. Every army has an enlistment. Church membership identifies the people who are part of the group in body and spirit and willing to serve. While churches in the New Testament didn’t have membership forms, there is ample evidence of lists of who was clearly identified as part of the church. (I Tim. 5:9-11)
- A Personal Reason: It produces spiritual growth.
The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. You cannot be accountable when you’re not committed to any specific church family. While there are other fine churches to attend, it is stabilizing and healthy to become part of a body where you can grow spiritually, grow in relationships and have a ministry to others.
Membership is a door that leads to greater growth, identity and fulfillment. It strengthens the believer as the individual becomes an identifiable part of a local body. (I Cor. 12:11-31)
At Bainbridge First Baptist we never ask our members to do more than the Bible teaches. To find out more about membership at Bainbridge First Baptist, attend the next membership Class. This is where you’ll find out about us, our beliefs and why we do the things we do!
Membership applications and a booklet with our Covenant, Statement of Faith and Constitution will be sent upon request or may be picked up at our church office.