Why is church membership important?
The universal Church—theBody of Christ,Romans 12:5—is composed of all true believers in Christ, and local churches are to be microcosm of the universal Church. As believers, we have our names written in the Lamb’s book of life Revelation 20:12, and that is what is most important. However, it is also important to commit to a local church where we can give of our resources, serve others, and be accountable.
The Bible does not directly address the concept of formal church membership, but there are several passages that strongly imply its existence in the early church. “And the Lord added to them day by day those that were being saved” Acts 2:47. This verse indicates that salvation was a prerequisite for being “added” to the church. In Acts 2:41, it seems that someone was keeping a numerical record of those who were saved and thus joining the church. Churches today that require salvation before membership are simply following the biblical model. See also 2 Corinthians 6:14–18.
Church membership is important because it helps define the Hebrews 13:17 instructs, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.” Whom will a pastor give an account for, except the members of his own church? He is not responsible for all the Christians in the world, only for those under his care. Likewise, he is not responsible for all the people in his community, only for believers under his leadership—his church members. Membership in a local church is a way of voluntarily placing oneself under the of a pastor.
Church membership is also important because, without it, there can be no accountability or First Corinthians 5:1–13 teaches a church how to deal with blatant, unrepentant sin in its midst. In verses 12–13, the words inside and outside are used in reference to the church body. We only judge those who are “inside” the church—church members. How can we know who is “inside” or “outside” the church without an official membership roll? See also Matthew 18:17.
We believe persons seeking membership In any of the local assemblies of the Gospel Centres International should make a thoughtful, informed and prayerful decision. For this reason, we are providing the following course that will thoroughly address most of our beliefs. Membership is one of the most important decisions a person can make, and should not be rushed into hastily or prematurely. We want you to be absolutely certain that joining Gospel Centres International is God’s will for your life.
PURPOSE FOR MEMBERSHIP
- To provide a setting where membership inquirers may become familiar with the Gospel Centres International’s general vision, basic bible doctrines and ministry.
- To allow inquirers and church leadership to become familiarized with one another and encourage the development of relationships.
- To communicate requirements necessary to becoming a member of the Gospel Centres International and certain responsibilities expected of members
- The membership class is an 7-week course held on Sunday afternoons.The Leadership of the particular Gospel Centres International Church will teach it.
- These sessions are mandatory. If more than two classes are missed, the candidate will forfeit their application for membership
- During these sessions the Leadership of the particular GCI church where membership is sought will attempt to build rapport with the applicants and be available to answer questions or address needs.