In two Sundays, we are going to have our first group of Redemption Church members. It’s a really exciting day in the life of Redemption Church! Depending on your church background, being a member of a church can be a confusing and possibly scary thing. What are you saying by joining a church? What types of things are you committing?
Oftentimes in American culture, we believe that our Christian life should be strictly personal, but you don’t see that biblically. The local church shared their Christian life, their heart, their struggles, and their prayers together. Church felt more like a family and less like an organization. Everyone pitched in and did their part to help see the mission accomplished. They took care of one another, read the Bible together, ate together, and pray together. We hope to be a church of the Bible and believe that membership is the biblical strategy to see that type of life lived out.
Membership gives us:
1. A definite inside and outside of the church (1 Corinthians 5:12-13, Matthew 18:15-17). In 1 Corinthians, Paul tells the church to judge itself and take care of the spiritual health of a church. He says that a church cannot judge the outside world, only itself. The language of the inside and outside means that a church has to have a definition of who is truly inside the church and who is truly outside the church. Membership is the vehicle that allows us to make those distinctions.
Also, Matthew 18 gives a process for dealing with problems in the church. Most problems should be handled between each member, brother to brother, sister to sister. But, very rarely, certain problems threaten to destroy the unity of the whole church and may result in an individual leaving the membership of the church.
2. A defined group of people in which pastors are supposed to keep watch over in their spiritual life. (1 Peter 5:2). A pastor’s job is much more than just preaching for 30 minutes on a Sunday. It’s to have the heart of a shepherd which means he is to compassionately care for, counsel, disciple, challenge, encourage, and pray for the members of the church.
3. A group of people responsible for upholding Gospel-centered preaching and teaching. (Galatians 1:6-9) Since pastors are given the teaching responsibility of the church, the members of the church are there to affirm Gospel-centered preaching and teaching and to act as an emergency break if teaching gets off-course.
4. A group of people committed and submitted to help each other with their spiritual growth. (Galatians 6:1-3, Hebrews 13:17) The Christian life is meant to be lived together, so we are to grow spiritually by helping one another with our burdens and struggles, as well as, looking to biblical leadership for guidance and counsel in our spiritual walk.
Why Join Redemption Church?
1. It’s biblical. Even if you don’t join Redemption Church, every Christian should join a Gospel-centered, Bible-believing church. It’s what God intended for His people, and so we want to live in conjunction to His teaching of the church.
2. Be a part of something bigger than yourself. We believe that God has called us as a church to engage our community to follow Christ. Our prayer is that God would transform lives, marriages, and families. As we engage in our part of that mission, we pray that God is glorified through those types of transformations.
3. Help challenge you to learn what it means to follow Christ. There is a lot we can learn about the Bible, our view of God, and ourselves from head knowledge. But, it’s a different thing entirely to actually live that out on a daily basis through a church body.