Next Step … Commit To Membership
At Calvary, we believe that membership in the local church is God’s design for every follower of Christ.
1) It’s biblical. Jesus established the local church and all the apostles did their ministry through it. The
Christian life in the New Testament is church life. Christians today should expect and desire the same.
2) The church is its members. To be “a church” in the New Testament is to be one of its members
(read through Acts). And you want to be part of the church because that’s who Jesus came to rescue
and reconcile to himself.
3) It’s a pre-requisite for the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is a meal for the gathered church, that
is, for members (see 1 Cor. 11:20, 33). And you want to take the Lord’s Supper. It’s the team “jersey”
which makes the church team visible to the nations.
4) It’s how to officially represent Jesus. Membership is the church’s affirmation that you are a citizen of
Christ’s kingdom and therefore a card-carrying Jesus Representative before the nations. And you want to
be an official Jesus Representative. Closely related to this…
5) It’s how to declare one’s highest allegiance. Your membership on the team, which becomes visible
when you wear the “jersey,” is a public testimony that your highest allegiance belongs to Jesus. Trials and
persecution may come, but your only words are, “I am with Jesus.”
6) It’s how to embody and experience biblical images. It’s within the accountability structures of the
local church that Christians live out or embody what it means to be the “body of Christ,” the “temple of
the Spirit,” the “family of God,” and so on for all the biblical metaphors (see 1 Cor. 12). And you want to
experience the interconnectivity of his body, the spiritual fullness of his temple, and the safety and intimacy
and shared identity of his family.
7) It’s how to serve other Christians. Membership helps you to know which Christians on Planet Earth
you are specifically responsible to love, serve, warn, and encourage. It enables you to fulfill your biblical
responsibilities to Christ’s body (for example, see Eph. 4:11-16; 25-32).
8) It’s how to follow Christian leaders. Membership helps you to know which Christian leaders on Planet
Earth you are called to obey and follow. Again, it allows you to fulfill your biblical responsibility to them
(see Heb. 13:7; 17).
9) It helps Christian leaders lead. Membership lets Christian leaders know which Christians on Planet
Earth they will “give an account” for (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2).
10) It enables church discipline. It gives you the biblically prescribed place to participate in the work of
church discipline responsibly, wisely, and lovingly (1 Cor. 5).
11) It gives structure to the Christian life. It places an individual Christian’s claim to “obey” and “follow”
Jesus into a real-life setting where authority is actually exercised over us
(see John 14:15; 1 John 2:19; 4:20-21).
12) It builds a witness and invites the nations. Membership puts the alternative rule of Christ on display
for the watching universe (see Matt. 5:13; John 13:34-35; Eph. 3:10; 1 Peter 2:9-12). The very boundaries
which are drawn around the membership of a church yields a society of people which invites the nations
to something better.
13) Calvary Baptist accepts members through one of the following three ways ...
A person may unite by profession of faith and become a candidate for baptism. This means that he has trusted Jesus as Savior, is now declaring himself/herself openly as a believer and is asking for membership in the church. Baptism is immersion of a person by putting him under water. Baptism does not help a person be saved. However, Jesus told his followers to be baptized. It symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It is also a pictorial testimony of what has already taken place in the Christian life — death to his old life, its burial, and His resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.
2. Transfer of Letter
A person may unite "by letter." This means that he/she is already a member of another Southern Baptist church of like faith and order. When one requests membership this way, the church clerk writes the church where he is a member and requests a letter of recommendation.
3. Statement of Faith
A person may unite by statement of faith. This means that he/she is a born again believer and has been baptized by emersion.