“So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12:5
Community Church is known in our area as a safe place for anyone to hear the message of Jesus Christ. But proclaiming the Gospel alone doesn’t make us a church. What makes us a church—not just an evangelistic and discipleship organization—is that we are a community. We have attenders and visitors, but we also have members. People can belong to our fellowship, and they can know they are connected.
You might ask the question, what is the point of formal membership?
At Community Church we recognize the need for a formal membership for at least three reasons. First, we believe the concept of membership is biblical. Believers clearly identified themselves with a specific local body and were challenged to become devoted participants. Second, formal membership is valuable to the leaders of the church as they seek to fulfill their God-given task of shepherding. Our church is and always will be a place where everyone is welcome to come and explore. At some point, however, it is important to identify those who comprise the core that can be counted on to build and sustain the mission of the church. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, experience shows that membership benefits the individual. In a culture where commitment is no longer highly valued, recognizable membership is an important step that moves each of us out of the vague clouds of our good intentions and into the clear light of committed participation. It presents a challenge to “step out of the stands” and publicly affirm a commitment to Christ and to a specific local body. In a sense, membership can be a significant “defining moment” in one’s lifelong discipleship journey.
The Membership Process
The process of becoming a participating member has four steps:
ATTEND A MEMBERSHIP CLASS – This course teaches all about Community Church, our beliefs and history, the sacraments of the Christian faith, the different ministries of Community Church and how they operate, what Group Ministry looks like, and much, much more! Have the opportunity to have your questions answered, meet and fellowship with other people at Community Church, and if you are interested, take steps towards becoming a Member! Please note that membership classes are held twice a year in the spring and the fall.
COMPLETE A SELF-ASSESSMENT – Each prospective member is asked to evaluate their own spiritual life using a Personal Spiritual Inventory.
BE INTERVIEWED BY THE ELDERS – The prospective member meets with two of our Elders to process their self-assessment. The purpose of the interview is not to determine whether the candidate is a “perfect Christian” (whatever that is!). The purpose is to affirm the prospective member’s commitment to Christ, to this church body, and to the lifelong process of spiritual growth. Elders normally will confirm membership on the spot. Occasionally, they may need to confer with the pastor or with other elders.
BE RECEIVED INTO MEMBERSHIP BEFORE THE CONGREGATION – New members are presented during a regular worship service so the entire church can rejoice together. The Membership Vows are made before the entire congregation. Members who have never been baptized are baptized during the same service.