Is membership Biblical?
Membership is a radical call to ordinary Christianity – which is, being and doing everything God calls us to be in His Word, by the strength of His Spirit, in the context of a local church. The assumption of the New Testament is that how your commitment to the Universal church expresses itself, is through affectionate attachment to a particular church, in a particular area, using our gifts to encourage one another in Christ - this is the essence of "membership". And so, Christian connection within the church is as important of connection as a body part to a body (1 Cor 12:12-27), a brick to a house (1 Pet 2:4-5), a family member in a household (1 Tim 3:15; 1 Pet 4:17), or a sheep to a flock and shepherd (John 10:11, 14; Eph 4:11-16; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2). We are inseparably connected through Christ. This is how the Bible describes the church.
Why is membership important?
At GCBC, the elders of our church desire to identify and commit to those whom the Lord has placed under their loving spiritual care (Acts 20:28). And so, when a believer joyfully places themselves under the accountability and care of godly leaders and the saints (Heb. 13:7, 17), and the congregation commits to the accountability and encouragement of that believer (Gal. 6:1-2; Matt 18:15-20) all of us seeking to live out the Great Commission as a community of Christ followers; it is this kind of loving commitment to one another and obedience to God that will impact the world for the sake of Christ (John 13:35).
What if I need to be baptized?
We believe that baptism by immersion and the Lord's Supper are gospel ordinances (instituted by Jesus in the gospels; Matt 26:26-28, 28:19; 1 Cor 11:23-26) belonging only to regenerated believers. These are two ways in which our membership to the Body of Christ is publicly displayed.
We believe baptism is not merely an "all about me" personal or spiritual milestone in the Christian life. But rather baptism is: 1.) a demonstration of what has happened in a person through the new birth (Rom 6:1-4), and 2.) a declaration that someone belongs to Christ and the community of Redeemed (Acts 2:41; Eph. 4:4-7). Thus, baptism is tied to membership in the church. And so, if you have not yet been baptized as a believer, the membership process will culminate in a Sunday morning baptism, as we welcome you in to membership at our church.
What are the next steps?
Church membership at GCBC is a four-step process:
- Complete of our four "Meaningful Membership Classes" to give you an overview of what we believe and how memberships work its way out in our church (offered quarterly during our Sunday "Equipping Hour" at 8:45am: August, November, February, May)
- Complete our membership & baptism form. You can print a GCBC Membership & Baptism Form here, or grab one at the kiosk at our Sunday services or any time during the week. Submit this to the church office whenever it is completed.
- Read “What We Believe” (essentials truth)
- Read “What We Teach” (doctrinal distinctives);
- Read “Philosophy of Ministry” (the “Why” and “how” of ministry at GCBC);
- Read Gold Country Baptist Church “By-laws” (our church’s constitution, purpose statement, and ministry policies)
- Read our "Membership Covenant Commitments"
- Membership interview. Upon completion of the first two steps, two of our pastor-elders will set up a time to meet with you so we may know how to shepherd you.
- Welcome. Finally, we love to welcome those who are new members of our church before the congregation, so that we can make a public affirmation of our commitment to one another as a church family, with its leadership church leadership, before the Lord.
What happens when you become a member?
If you desire to treasure Christ with us by partnering with us in this way, we would love to talk with you. We desire and expect every member of our church to faithfully pursue the commitments below, and will discuss them further in our membership classes.
GOLD COUNTRY BAPTIST CHURCH COVENANT COMMITMENTS
Having been led by the Holy Spirit of God to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, I do now in the presence of God, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with other believers of this congregation, as one body in Christ.
I will endeavor, by the aid of the Holy Spirit,
- To walk together in Christian love, and maintain the unity of the believers in the church (John 13:34-35; Ephesians 4:3-6);
- To strive for the advancement of this congregation in knowledge, holiness, and love (Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Peter 3:18);
- To sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines (Acts 2:42, 1 Timothy 4:13);
- To contribute cheerfully and willingly to the support of its ministry as able (2 Corinthians 9:7, Psalm 100:2);
- To walk circumspectly in the world so as to maintain a strong Christian testimony (Ephesians 5:15-21);
- To watch over other believers in brotherly love, through prayer, and giving aid in times of need (Galatians 6:1-10; Philippians 2:1-7; 1 Peter 3:8-9);
- To bring up those in my care in the teaching of the Lord in my family (Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 6:7; Psalm 78:1-6);
- To maintain a clear conscience by seeking forgiveness, and forgiving others according to the teachings of our Lord Jesus (Luke 17:4; Mark 11:25; Matthew 5:23-24, 18:21-35, Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12-15);
- To submit to the leadership of this congregation and be subject to its discipline (Matthew 18:15-18; Hebrews 13:17);
- To not forsake the corporate assembling of myself together with a gathered church even if it becomes necessary to leave this congregation (Hebrews 10:25).
You can contact our church office during the week to speak to one of our Pastors at 530.677.4122 | firstname.lastname@example.org