This week’s blog is the third installment in a four-part series on next steps in our faith. The first two posts covered salvation and baptism. Today we are going to look at church membership.

Unlike the other next steps we have covered and will cover, church membership isn’t explicitly discussed in Scripture. At least not in the context that we mean it here. Salvation, baptism, and service (that’s for next week) are all directly discussed in the Bible. But there isn’t anywhere that it tells us we should join the Methodist Church or engage in the membership process of the Free Church. That leaves us with the question of what church membership is and why we encourage it.

Church membership is a formalized process that allows us to become participants in the operations of the church. Membership allows you to vote in the church’s budget, who sits on the elder board, and other similar topics. It is a formalized way to take an active role in the general direction of the church and its future.
The larger question is why we encourage people to become members. We ask people to become members because it is a commitment to the local body of Christ. When someone becomes a member, they are committing to three actions. First, to continue growing in their walk with Christ. They are committing to engaging with Scripture, engaging in prayer, and submitting themselves to the Lordship of Christ amongst other things.

Second, they are committing to the unity of the church. All throughout Scripture we are called to be unified. We see is specifically in Christ’s prayer for the church in John 17. This means they are committing to loving all people, to refusing to gossip, to praying for the church and its leadership, etc. Unity within the body is critical and membership is a public commitment to this Scriptural idea.

Finally, they are committing to participating in the life and ministry of the church. Members commit to attending regularly, identifying their gifts and service, giving regularly, attending business meetings and voting, etc. This commitment to serving with the body is the next step that Pastor Dan will cover next week. Again, it is a vital part of the life of the church.

Church membership is an external commitment to the local church body. It is way for those who are believers to affirm the work and ministry of their local church and to support the unity of the body of Christ. It is by no means a requirement of salvation or a requirement for attending our church. It is simply a next step we can take toward further commitment to the body of Christ. If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a member here at Beacon, click HERE.

Josh Cervone