Why Church Membership?
Church membership follows the biblical pattern. Jesus established and is building His church. He promised nothing could overcome the church (Matthew 16:17-19). Church membership in the universal body of Christ occurs when someone repents of their sins and believes in Jesus for salvation, and is baptized in believer’s baptism in obedience to the commandment of Jesus. Local church membership takes place when one joins a local group of God’s people. The New Testament assumes commitment and accountability for every follower of Jesus in a local body of believers.
Church membership is a covenant commitment to worship and serve with God’s people (1 Corinthians 12:20). God gathers His family and provides the spiritual gifts needed for the proper functioning of his church. Church membership is a visible commitment to God’s people. When you make a commitment as a member, you are committing to regular worship with God’s people (Hebrews 10:25), and to exercise the gifts God has entrusted to you spiritually. Church membership is a way to cooperate with others in obedience to the Great Commission.
Church membership provides order in the church (1 Corinthians 14:40). The members of a local church provide the resources, leadership, service, organization, administration, and accountability to further the work of God. There are practical legal and liability issues this helps satisfy also, depending on the cultural context within which the church exists.
Church membership provides for faithful shepherding (Hebrews 13:7,17). Leaders are called by God to lead and serve the body of Christ, and to shepherd and care for his people. Your pastors will give an account to God for those entrusted to them. Church membership is how they know who is in the church and for whom they are accountable.
Church membership provides the framework for spiritual accountability (Galatians 6, Matthew 18, 1 Corinthians 5). When there are spiritual matters that must be dealt with, and sin that has to be addressed through church discipline, it is through church membership these matters are addressed.
Church membership is a powerful witness to the world (John 13:34-35). When the church functions in a healthy way, people can see the love of Jesus, and God uses the witness to draw people to himself.
I am considering committing to be a member of Cross Lanes Baptist Church. What now?
These are four ways to join Cross Lanes Baptist Church.
By Profession of Faith and Baptism
If you recently accepted Christ then you would come by profession of faith and baptism. You cannot join the church without being baptized because only baptized believers can be members of the local church.
If you are already a believer but have not yet been baptized by immersion in obedience to Jesus, you will need to request to join by being baptized. If you are a believer but come from a denomination that does not practice baptism by immersion or believes that baptism is necessary for salvation, you will need to join by baptism.
If you are a baptized member of another Southern Baptist Church, you can come by transfer of letter. We will write and ask your church to send your letter.
By Statement of Faith
If you have been baptized by immersion in another church of like faith and order that is not Southern Baptist, or if your records have been lost, you may come by statement of faith.
What does it mean to be a member of Cross Lanes Baptist Church?
- You are under spiritual care of the church and its leadership
- You are a minister in the church
- You are to be equipped to do the work of the church
- You are to support the mission of the church
- You can teach and hold offices in the church as you meet specific requirements
- You can vote on matters brought before the church
Let us know- If you are ready to make a commitment, please let one of the pastors know. You may do so at church on Sunday, at the end of one of the worship services, or by contacting Joyce in the Church Office- firstname.lastname@example.org. We will discuss your situation with you, and ask you to complete a basic information form, and then proceed based on your specific commitment.
Complete the Connect Class- Those desiring membership are expected to complete a Sunday morning Connect Class at the next possible opportunity. The next Connect Class is on Sunday, October 8th. The class is from 9 AM-11:40 AM (with a break in the middle), and is one Sunday only. If you follow through with this commitment, your name will be presented to the church body in the next Congregational Meeting to be formally received into the church family.