Pursuing Church Membership
In a day when commitment is a rare commodity, it should come as no surprise that church membership is such a low priority to so many believers. Sadly, it is not uncommon for Christians to move from church to church, never submitting themselves to the care of elders and never committing themselves to a group of fellow believers.
To neglect—or to refuse—to commit to a church as a formal member, however, reflects a misunderstanding of the believer’s responsibility to the body of Christ. It also cuts one off from the many blessings and opportunities that flow from this commitment. It is essential for every Christian to understand what church membership is and why it matters.
The Definition of Church Membership
When an individual is born again, he becomes a member of the body of Christ (1st Corinthians 12:13). Because he is now in Christ, he is united to other members of Christ's body; therefore, should become a committed member of the local expression of that body.
To become a member of a church is to formally commit oneself to an identifiable, local body of believers who have joined together for specific, divinely ordained purposes. These purposes include receiving instruction from God’s Word (1st Timothy 4:13; 2nd Timothy 4:2), serving and edifying one another through the proper use of spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8; 1st Corinthians 12:4-31; 1st Peter 4:10-11), participating in the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42), and proclaiming the gospel to those who are lost (Matthew 28:18- 20). In addition, when one becomes a member of a church, he submits himself to the care and the authority of the biblically qualified elders that God has placed in that assembly.
How do I become a Member?
Membership begins by talking with one of our pastors or leaders, letting them know of your interest. They will begin by answering any questions you may have. They will also ask questions about your testimony; who Christ is; what He accomplished at the cross; when you became regenerate; etc. They will also review what the scripture says is significant about being a member of the body of Christ. If you are a born again believer who agrees with the fundamental doctrines of the church, who recognizes Christ as the literal Head of the church; and who acknowledges the scriptures to be final source of authority in all matters of faith and life, then you will be welcomed before the congregation at the end of a worship service to fulfill your calling in Christ's church at Wellington, using the gifts the Lord has given you for His glory.
Do You Have a Testimony?
Posted by Wayne Holcomb
Many of you want to know how to write a testimony. You can use the following outline to communicate the good news of how the Lord has saved you and changed you for His glory (Romans 11:33-36).
1) JUST CONDEMNATION: Colossians 1:21. Why do you need to be saved? We've alienated ourselves from a holy God through the selfish rebellion of our sin. Don't spend a lot of time on sins of your past, just identify when you first recognized God is holy and you are not. In whom do you trust? Christ as Savior or the good you have done?
2) GRACIOUS SALVATION: Ephesians 2:8-10. How are we saved? Not by some ritual or ceremony or list of good deeds or even some decision you made, because spiritually dead men don't make decisions for Christ. To have a proper understanding of salvation you need to recognize that it is the Lord who saves, not the works of men.
3) ACCOMPLISHED PROPITIATION: Romans 3:21-26. What did a holy God do to make His grace possible? He sent Christ who, as God, satisfied the just wrath His holy character demands for sin and as a human without sin made atonement for us as sinners. You need to recognize that Christ's death is effective and atoning. He did not die a martyr's death to show us how bad sin is. He redeemed a people to the praise of His holy name. Do you have a good understanding of what really took place at the cross?
4) AMAZING REGENERATION: Ephesians 2:1-5. How do you know this is true? By His power He made me alive in Christ, opened my eyes to the truth of His word, changed my heart, and brought me to faith in Christ and His atoning work at the cross. This is when you recognized the truth about you, the Lord, and Christ and fell on your knees in repentance. This may not be a specific day but a period of time in your life. Those who grew up in the church may not be able to pin point a specific moment when they were "born again."
5) PERSEVERING SANCTIFICATION: Philippians 2:12. Where is the evidence that your conversion true? I no longer live with a desire to rebel, but I now have a heart for loving, giving, and serving because I am working out the salvation He gave to me with fear and trembling to the glory of His name. How has your life changed since you have been "born again"?