MEMBERSHIP CLASS IS DIRECTED TO ANYONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN PARTNERING WITH REDEEMER’S IN OUR PURSUIT OF GOD’S CALLING FOR US AS A CHURCH. IN A SINGLE SATURDAY MORNING SEMINAR WE’LL GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER, SURVEY FIVE MARKS OF MEMBERSHIP, ANSWER QUESTIONS, AND GIVE EACH PERSON AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A COVENANT TO BE A MEMBER OF REDEEMER’S FELLOWSHIP.
FEBRUARY 1, 2020 | 9-11:30am | MINISTRY CENTER
First, we believe formal membership to a local church is biblical. In the New Testament we find examples specifically identifying unique, local congregations. In 1 Corinthians 16:19 Paul writes, "The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord." He recognizes multiple congregations in the province of Asia and specifically calls attention to one, the church that met in the home of Aquila and Prisca. Though the term “church member” is never used in the text, the concept of belonging to a unique church is implicit. Early believers chose and participated in the life of a local church where they were challenged and grew as wholehearted followers of Christ.
Second, formal membership serves to guide leaders in knowing who they are to shepherd. 1 Peter 5:2 says, "Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you...." Peter instructs the elders to oversee those who have been entrusted into their care. The leaders should know who it is they care for.
At Redeemer’s we expect there will regularly be people in our weekend worship services who are seeking and even resistant to the Gospel; people who are not yet committed to following Christ at this stage of their spiritual journey. We hope this is always the case! But at some point it is important to identify who makes up the “flock” at Redeemer’s. Membership allows our leaders to know those who are all in with following Christ at Redeemer’s.
Finally, membership is an experience that benefits the individual. In a day and age where commitment is not a highly valued concept, membership provides an opportunity for a person to step out of the fog of good intentions and into the clear light of committed participation. Membership calls one to step off the sidelines and be all in. This call to commitment can be a significant step in your life growing toward spiritual maturity.
What is a Member?
Defining a "MEMBER" at Redeemer’s always begins with defining a member of the body of Christ. When a person believes in Jesus as their Savior and Lord they receive the gifts of complete forgiveness and new life through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13, 22). The Spirit who indwells every believer connects each believer to one another, and all believers to Christ, the Head of the Body. Becoming a member of the Body of Christ is a supernatural work of God alone, not the work of any human effort or institution (1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 27). This makes a person a member of the worldwide Church of Jesus Christ, based upon the merit and grace of Christ, alone. But then the Bible urges believers to continue growing in grace as members of the local church (Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:25-31; 14:12, 26; Hebrews 12:24-25; 1 Timothy 3:14-15).
We have identified Five Marks of Membership that describe what it looks like to function as an “All In Member” at Redeemer’s:
A person responds to the Gospel in repentance and faith, and identifies with Christ in baptism. Further, we expect every member to openly confess Christ as His disciple before a watching world (Matthew 10:32; 28:19-20; Acts 14:21-22).
BELONG TO A COMMUNITY GROUP
We expect each member to connect with a small group to create Christian community where discipleship happens, which we call a Community Group (Acts 2:42-47).
CONTRIBUTE TIME, ENERGY, AND RESOURCES
We expect every member to use what God has entrusted to them as good managers to help fulfill Redeemer’s purpose and mission, as well as Christ’s broader mission in the world (Matthew 25:14-30; Ephesians 5:15-17; 1 Peter 4:9-11).
DEVELOP CHRISTIAN MATURITY
We expect each member over time to grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, to evidence the fruit of the Spirit, and to intentionally pursue the goal of Christian maturity as they walk the path of life (Galatians 5:22-23; Colossians 1:28-29; 2 Peter 3:18).
EMBRACE OUR VISION AND VALUES
We expect every member to understand and embrace our purpose, philosophy, core convictions, and submit to the authority of the Elders (Hebrews 13:17). We believe these statements of expectation clearly articulate the marks of someone who is wholeheartedly devoted to Jesus and His Church. Each of these characteristics is biblically based — not humanly manufactured.
A maturing follower of Christ who is a part of Redeemer’s will evidence these qualities in their life. If you are living out these qualities, we want to formally affirm this fact and celebrate it with you!