Bring up church membership and watch people squirm.

It isn’t that people in culture are against membership as an idea—Costco seems to be doing well.

Perhaps it is because church membership is not often defined well. It’s one of those things that when misunderstood seems a bit like eating your spinach—“at least try it before you decide you don’t like it.”

Makes you want to sign right up, doesn’t it?

But in the New Testament, people in churches are recognized as being in some sort of community. It’s just that the reality is how community is expressed in Scripture has fallen on hard times over the last couple of thousand years.

Membership is often misunderstood, misapplied or not applied at all.

So we want to make it less scary, or better yet, less misunderstood.

Membership Reality

Membership is commitment to a specific, local expression of the Body of Christ. In addition, LHBC is a congregational church. “Congregational” is a big word which means that those who are members have the privilege and responsibility of being a part of major decisions that affect the overall functioning of the church.

 

WHAT MEMBERSHIP IS NOT:

Having said that, lets begin with what membership is not. First, membership is not in any way a part of Biblical salvation. We are “saved by grace through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) Salvation is a personal decision to put our trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. When we trust Christ for our salvation, we become part of the Body of Christ that professes Biblical faith around the world.

Second, membership is not a requirement to be a part of our church. Many people choose not to become members but are still welcome in this local family.

WHAT MEMBERSHIP IS:

“So if I don’t need to be a member to be part of LHBC, what then is membership?” We are glad you asked, because shared commitments keep us all pointed in a common, Biblical direction.

First, Lakeview members, profess their own personal faith in Jesus Christ, and have experienced baptism by immersion.

Second, membership is your statement of commitment to the local body of Lakeview. When you become a member you are stating that you share in and agree with Lakeview’s doctrinal statement, purpose statement, core values and over all mission. Membership helps us say that this is “my” church and “I love what God is doing through LHBC.”

Third, membership, as has already been stated, affords individuals the privilege and responsibility of voting on major decisions that affect the church. For example, our membership votes to adopt our annual budget. Our membership votes to call pastors when this occurs. Our membership votes on those who will function in leadership of our church. These and other major decisions we call upon our members to take ownership and get involved.

Along with these three important aspects, members of Lakeview are also committed to the following:

Membership is like saying,


“Yes! This is my church.”

Lakeview Members Commit To:

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Growing warmer through fellowship:

our desire is to share life together with others in community. We believe that Christian growth happens, Biblically, through fellowship (Ephesians 4:1-4). Therefore, we seek to connect with others, especially through Life Groups at Lakeview. We desire to be socially uplifting and purposefully choose to love others who are not like ourselves (Hebrews 10:19-25).

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Growing deeper through discipleship:

our desire is to be growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lakeview members seek to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). This will find expression in seeking God through personal Bible reading, prayer and other spiritual disciplines as the Lord leads. Spiritual growth is a life long process and the Holy Spirit wants us to grow (Philippians 1:3-11). Therefore, we recognize that any commitments we make are beyond our human ability, and must include being filled with the Holy Spirit, relying on Him for empowerment to produce Christlike character in us.

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Growing stronger through worship:

we believe that regular fellowship through Life Groups and the Sunday gatherings are vital for growth and encouragement (Acts2:42-47). Lakeview members are committed to regular attendance for this reason. Lakeview members also understand that one important aspect of worship is giving of tithes and offerings. We are committed to Biblical stewardship (2 Corinthians 9:7-8).

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Growing broader through service:

we believe that every member has a spiritual gifting and ability to serve the church for the building up of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). Therefore we are committed to serve for the benefit of others.

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Growing larger through outreach:

while Lakeview does not espouse to numbers goals, we do believe that healthy churches grow, and that healthy churches care about those who do not yet know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Therefore, we desire to be a witness in our world both in example and through the spoken word (Matthew 28:19-20). We desire to share the Gospel of God's love with anyone who does not know Christ.

So what do I do if I want to become a member?

1) Make your intentions known to one of the Pastors or Deacons.

2) Share your testimony of faith and your desire to become a member with a Deacon (s).

3) Share your testimony of faith with the membership at the next congregational meeting.

4) Be received into membership by vote of affirmation.

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