By now, if you have followed this series of articles and you are encouraged with tips and ideas to identify, intercede for, invest in, intentionally share the gospel with, and invite the “one” into your ongoing group ministry. The next step was believer’s baptism. Our previous article highlighted the importance of baptism as an expression of obedience to Christ.
Following Baptism, church membership is a vital next step in the spiritual maturity of a new believer. Recently, our church plant went through a discussion about the importance of membership and began accepting members for the first time in its three-year existence. In our discussions during the leadup to our first membership meeting, it was interesting to discover that there are only a few specific verses in the Bible that mention the importance of church membership. In the new testament church, membership is just assumed.
Jesus implied about membership when he talked about “keys to the kingdom” in Matthew 16 and 18. The book of Acts speaks of “the numbers being added daily” in Acts 2, 4, and 5. Paul tackles membership in 1 Corinthians 5, 12 and 2 Corinthians 2. But in all these references (and many more) the leaders of church just assumed that a constituted church would have, as part of its polity, church membership.
Your “one” might be nervous about taking a step into church membership. Consider discussing the topic over a meal and try to answer their questions and concerns about how your church views church membership and the benefits of being united as the body of Christ.
Jason McNair has served for more than a decade as Strengthen Churches Missionary for Utah Idaho SBC and hosts a LifeGroup in his home every other week. He and his family are charter members of LifePoint Church in Farmington, UT
Bonus Post: Baptism Sunday, September 8, 2019
On September 8, 2019, churches across the Southern Baptist Convention will be celebrating “Baptism Sunday” as they #FillTheTank in anticipation of the need for spontaneous baptisms in our churches that day. Through this special emphasis, there will be preaching on this topic, a call for response to the gospel, and an opportunity to be obedient through baptism immediately following their decision. More information about “Baptism Sunday” can be found below.
J.D. Greear article in Baptist Press promoting Baptism Sunday from 08/12/2019
Baptism Sunday Resources for your church