At CBC, we believe that the local church exists for three reasons: The Glory of God, the Good of His People, and The Great Commission or – His Glory His People His Mission. When we say everything, we mean everything including church membership. As a matter of fact, we wouldn’t ask someone to join our church unless it was for God’s glory, His people and His mission. So how exactly does church membership do these things?
The Glory of God
First, when you join a church you bring God glory and you do so in three primary ways – through your profession, service, and worship.
Glory to God through your Profession
By profession, we do not mean your vocational calling. What is meant by profession is your profession of faith in Christ Jesus. When you ask to join CBC, we have you sign an application for membership. The beginning portion of that document says this, “I am trusting Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and having been baptized I desire to enter into membership at Calvary Bible Church.” The gateway, if you will, of membership at CBC is a profession of faith in Jesus. Of course, this is also the gateway into membership in the Universal Church – faith in Christ Jesus.
As a member of CBC you are first and foremost a believer in Jesus. You are affirming that He and He alone is your Savior. You are professing to love, follow, and worship Jesus Christ and that brings God glory.
Glory to God through your Worship
One of the main privileges you have as a church member is regular attendance to the weekly worship service. Now, we believe that a Christian should worship God all week long by living a God glorifying life. In addition, each Christian should strive to have times of private worship and devotion. However, the weekly worship service is a special time wherein the local church gathers to offer corporate worship to God. Consider the following verses that speak to corporate worship:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:16-17)
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
When we gather together on a weekly basis as church members we pray to God, sing to God, and listen to God’s Word both read and taught. As God’s people gather to worship (as they have always done), God is glorified through their worship. Therefore, your church membership brings glory to God as you worship Him together with His people.
Glory to God through your Service
Members of CBC are expected to serve the church in some capacity. We do realize that people are in different phases of life and sometimes extenuating factors will keep people from serving with large quantities of time. However, everyone is capable of doing some kind of service for the church. For instance, we need people to hand out bulletins, greet visitors, work in the nursery, teach Sunday school, sing on the music team, clean the building, take the offering, etc. All we ask is that each member serve in one particular area that helps the ministry of CBC continue.
Peter makes an important statement about service in his first letter: “…whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”
In whatever capacity you serve, you do so in the strength and power of God so that He is glorified through your service. When viewed this way, service in the local church takes on a whole new exciting dimension. As you are serving in any capacity, you are consciously relying upon the power of God to help you so that in those moments HE is being glorified through you. When you serve as a church member, you are bringing glory to God through your service. So, if you join CBC you will glorify God with your profession of faith, your weekly worship, and your sacrificial service.
The Good of His People
In addition to church membership bringing glory to God, we also practice church membership at CBC for the Good of His People. In both Old and New Testaments, God has a unique people who are set apart to worship and serve Him. In the Old Testament, that privilege was for the nation of Israel. In the New Testament, the people of God are called the Church. And, in both Israel and the Church, God makes it clear that we were never intended to live our lives independent of the others in the faith community. God has called the Church to have deep and meaningful relationships designed for our good and the good of the faith community as a whole.
The Membership Process
If you’ve been attending Calvary for a time, you maybe wondering what comes next for you, or how you can get more involved. Church membership is the first place to start.
1. Talk to one of the pastors, and express your interest in church membership.
2. Attend a Newcomers Class. This class will give you an introduction to Calvary, our history, our beliefs, our philosophy of ministry and more. We hold these classes several times throughout the year.
3. Read through the membership manual and fill out the membership application.
4. Meet with elders and share your testimony of faith in Jesus Christ.
5. Elders will review your application, then you will be presented to the church as a new member.