We believe that church membership is important. The Bible seems to assume that everyone is a member of a particular local church. Many of the commands that God gives Christians don’t make sense unless we can obey them in the context of a local church. So, if you are a Christian, and you are not a member of a local church, we encourage you to make finding a church a priority. It doesn’t have to be Greenbelt Baptist, but make sure that the church believes the true gospel. However, if you are interested in joining GBC, here’s what will happen.
Come and see. We would like you to attend at least a few services, if not more, so that you know what the sermons are like and how we worship the Lord together. Examine the Church Covenant and the Church Statement of Faith.
Talk to the pastor about your belief in Jesus. For your sake and for the sake of the Church, we want you to affirm that you understand the gospel, and, so far as you are consciously aware, you have placed your trust completely and only in Christ as the means of escaping God’s wrath for your sins against Him. We also need to talk with you about the way we organize ourselves as a church, and make sure you are on the same page. You will also need to be baptized as a Christian if you haven’t been already. We want to make sure you understand the church’s Statement of Faith and the church covenant, and make sure you can agree with these two documents.
We will introduce you to the congregation. This means on a Sunday, we will have you stand up before the congregation and someone will let the congregation know that you want to join the church. This provides the congregation an opportunity to get to know you.
You will be voted on by the church in a regular members meeting. Now, I admit, being voted on can sound odd. But the congregation votes on someone joining because, as a Baptist church, we believe that the ultimate authority rests in the congregation. Therefore, neither the pastor nor any other of the leaders have the authority to make someone a member (or not a member). Only the congregation can do that. It is also important that the congregation know who they are admitting to membership so that they understand their responsibility to care for the new members.
What is a Healthy Church Member – Thabiti Anyabwile
Church Membership – Jonathan Leeman