Information about how you can join the LGC family via membership, why it’s Biblical, what it means for you, how to get started, and our membership covenant.
Reasons for Church Membership
Reason #1: It’s Biblical
Although the New Testament doesn’t mention church membership, it assumes it.
Church membership is a biblically defensible doctrine … The NT demonstrates that this membership is not merely in the universal church but is also comprised of belonging to and being in covenant with a local assembly of believers. God calls for believers to gather locally, administer ordinances, exercise the authority of the keys of the kingdom, fulfill the “one another” commands, hold one another accountable, and exercise church discipline. Thus, while church membership is not explicitly mentioned in numerous places in the NT, one can see that all of the items listed previously assume and demand that people gathered locally and living out and overseeing one’s discipleship in specific ways. The Bible, therefor, calls us to submit to local church membership.
Reason #2: It’s Beneficial
From an article at 9Marks:
1. It commits you, the Christian. It’s good to commit yourself to love and serve others. You will grow as a Christian as you commit to encourage, build up, strengthen, serve, rebuke, and pray for other Christians.
2. Others are committed to you. Becoming a member of a church means joining with an entire group of Christians who have now covenanted to watch over you spiritually. If you’re a member of a church you have an entire church full of people who are publicly committed to loving you and serving you and watching over you.
3. Elder protection. If you’re a member of a church, that church’s elders and pastors should care for you, pray for you, and personally counsel and teach you. As a member of their church, they are accountable to God for how they lead you (Heb. 13:17).
4. Safety net. In his book Stop Dating the Church, Josh Harris points out that it’s comforting to know his church would kick him out rather than tolerate his unrepentant sin. Being a church member means that a whole church full of people are committed to helping you live a life that’s pleasing to God, even to the point of excluding you from the church if you stop repenting of sin. While this sounds harsh to some, to those of us who know the deceitfulness of sin, this is an immensely comforting and encouraging reality (Hebrews 3:12).
5. Assurance. Membership is the church’s affirmation of the validity of someone’s profession of faith (Matthew 16:19, 18:18). The church looks at a person’s life, hears their explanation of the gospel and how they came to believe it, and says, “You look like a Christian to us. So join us. Watch over our lives and we’ll watch over yours.” So while membership in a church doesn’t guarantee that someone is a Christian, it should assure believers of the genuineness of their faith.
Membership Process + Application.
Becoming a member of Liberty Grace Church proceeds in three stages. Ready to apply for membership? Fill out our online membership application.
- Attend a membership class.
- Submit your membership application online (a brief questionnaire and your written testimony).
- Meet with an elder (and often another member) to review your application and clarify any questions you may have.
The second stage contains steps the elders and members will do. Once stage one is successfully completed, the elders will recommend you to the members for membership.
- Your testimony will be distributed to the membership at least two weeks prior to the next Members’ Meeting. The purpose of this is to encourage the existing members to get to know you.
- A vote of affirmation will take place at that Members’ Meeting. You will be informed of the results of this vote soon after the meeting.
- After the affirmation, the elders will approve your membership.
The last stage is for all of us. After an affirmative vote by the members you will formally join the church during a Sunday service. You will agree to the Membership Covenant in one of our corporate worship services. (You will be notified of the date for this in advance.)
Once that is done, you are a member of this church!
A covenant is a promise we make to one another. It is similar to a contract where all the parties agree to certain things.
At Liberty Grace Church, the members covenant to one another by all agreeing to the following statement. This statement is read every time new members are added to the church, at member meetings, and occasionally during our worship services. It serves as the ideal to which we are all striving.
By featuring the covenant in our life together, we strive to protect ourselves from individual and corporate sin. Of equal importance, we encourage one another to live in light of the greater covenant that God has made with us through his Son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Having been led, with assurance, by the Spirit of God,1 to receive Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord,2 and upon profession of my repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, having been baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, I engage therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit; to walk with you in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church, in knowledge, holiness and comfort—even to the laying down of my life in service for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ and my brothers and sisters, and if called upon by my Lord, to hazard my life for the gospel’s sake;3 to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain true Biblical worship in it, observing the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s table, discipline, and doctrines as revealed in the Word of God;4 to contribute cheerfully and regularly of my income as God has graciously prospered me for the support of this church, relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations.5
I also engage to maintain family and private devotions; to biblically educate my children; to seek the salvation of my family and acquaintances; to be zealous in my efforts to advance the kingdom of my Saviour;6 to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in my dealings, faithful in my engagements, exemplary in my deportment, abstaining from all appearances of evil;7 and, to avoid all backbiting, gossiping, and unrighteous anger.8
I further engage to watch over you, my brothers and sisters, in brotherly love;9 to remember you in prayer; to aid you in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech;10 to be slow to take offence, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the commandments of our Saviour to secure it without delay.11
I also understand that if I am overtaken in any fault, I will be subject to biblical discipline which seeks my restoration.12
I moreover engage that when I remove from this place I will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church of like faith and practice, where I can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word. I also realize that Liberty Grace Church has already entered into this covenant one with another and that she is also responsible to me in like manner.
- Romans 5:5 ↩︎
- Romans 8:14; 10:9-10; John 3:8 ↩︎
- Galatians 5:13-16; Romans 8:13; 16:3-4; Acts 15:26; 1 John 3:16; 2 Peter 1:2-8; 3:18 ↩︎
- Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:42 ↩︎
- Malachi 3:8; 1 Corinthians 9:7-14; Galatians 6:6-8; Philippians 4:14-20;1 Timothy 5:17-18; Hebrews 13:15-17 ↩︎
- 2 Timothy 3:15; Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 6:6-8; Ephesians 6:4 ↩︎
- 2 Corinthians 6:3-10; Ephesians 5:15-16; Colossians 3:13-17; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; 5:22 ↩︎
- James 1:26; Ephesians 4:25; 5:7; Colossians 3:3-17; 1 Timothy 5:5-11; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15; 1 Peter 4:15; Proverbs 6:16-19; 8:13; 26:20 ↩︎
- Matthew 22:37-39; John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:18; 4:11; 2 Peter 1:5-8; Romans 5:5; 12:9-10; 1 Corinthians 13:1-7; 2 Corinthians 8:7-8; Galatians 5:6,13-14; Ephesians 4:2, 15-16; Colossians 3:14 ↩︎
- 1 Corinthians 12:26; Colossians 4:12, 13 ↩︎
- Matthew 18:15-17 ↩︎
- Galatians 6:1, 2; Matthew 18:15-17; Romans 16:17, 18; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Corinthians 2:6-11; 2 Thessalonians 3:11-14