Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ridgeview Church Membership

This past Sunday we had a membership class after church. I am pleased to share with you that Brian & Kerri Timms, along with Dillon and Kim Key, have agreed to live by our membership covenant and desire to unite with our church through formal church membership. I believe that joining a church is very important. I picked up a brochure some time ago from our parent church that lays out nicely why they encourage people to unite officially in membership. Allow me to share them with you:

1. Joining a church helps one identify with a body of believers
In the New Testament, when the apostles would go from town to town, they always sought out a group of believers with whom to identify. It gave them a sense of belonging as they joined together with their Christian family in the local towns. When you join a church you are saying, "I belong here; this is my family."

2. It is important to join a church in order to have a relationship of accountability
One of the most important reasons for joining a church is that it puts you in a position where you can be accountable by others. The Bible talks about this accountability in Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5. 

At Ridgeview, we recognize the need for a formal membership. We teach in our membership class to commit to membership for four reasons:

1. A Biblical reason
Christ is committed to the Church- "...Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." Ephesians 5:25
Christ expects us to be committed to His Church- "Consequently you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household."       
Ephesians 2:19

2. A Cultural reason
Membership swims against the current of America's "consumer religion." Commitment always builds character.

3. A practical reason: It defines who can be counted on
Every team has a roster. Every school an enrollment. Every business has a payroll. Every army an enlistment. Even our country takes a census and requires voter registration. Membership identifies our family.

4. A personal reason- It produces spiritual growth
Accountability to the body will produce growth.

When someone joins Ridgeview church, they agree to the membership covenant. Here is what they are agreeing to:

"Having received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and been baptized, and being in agreement with what we believe and what we practice, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the Ridgeview Church family. In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:

1. I will protect the unity of my church
*By acting in love toward other members
*By refusing to gossip and resolving conflicts using Matthew 18:15-17
*By following the leaders
(Romans 15:5,19,1 Peter 1:22, Ephesians 4:29, Hebrews 13:17)

2. I will share the responsibility of my church
*By praying for its growth
*By inviting the unchurched to attend
*By warmly welcoming those who visit
(Luke 14:23, Romans 15:7, 1 Thessalonians 1:2)

3. I will serve the ministry of my church
*By discovering my gifts and talents
*By being equipped to serve by my pastors
*By developing a servant's heart
(1 Peter 4:10, Ephesians 4:11-12, Philippians 2:3-4,7)

4. I will support the testimony of my church
*By attending faithfully
*By living a growing and godly life
*By giving regularly
(Hebrews 10:25, Philippians 1:27, 1 Corinthians 16:2, Leviticus 27:30)

Let me again welcome our newest members! It is not only exciting to see them unite with our church through formal membership but also to see both families involved in the Eill Growth Group and serving Christ at Ridgeview. They are growing as disciples of Christ. That's a goal for all of us!

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