Those interested in becoming a member of our church should first understand that Grace Presbyterian Church is really not “our” church at all. It belongs to Jesus Christ, who founded it, called it “my church” and declared that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18) So we look to God’s Word, the Bible, for instructions on all things related to our church, including membership.
What does “membership” involve? First, RECOGNITION. Recognizing that you are a sinner and trusting alone in Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation. It is the recognition that God has forgiven you in Christ and therefore being able to say with Paul “…I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
Secondly, SUBMISSION. Submitting to the spiritual rulers in the church. “Obey your leaders, and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account.” (Hebrews 13:17) This of course involves identifying with a local church (made up of believers) which remains true to the Bible and allowing the leaders to help care for your spiritual growth in Christ.
Thirdly, DECLARATION. The Bible says that man must confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord. (Rom 10:9-10) Responsibility to ask you to give an account of the hope within you (1 Peter 3:15) (i.e. confessing your faith in Christ) is with the Elders, who have responsibility of spiritual care and discipline of church members.
Fourthly, PARTICIPATION. As a part of the body of Christ you cannot say to the rest of the body, “I have no need of you.” (1 Corinthians 12:20,21). Participation in the life of the church with your time, talent, and money is essential, not optional, for your spiritual growth and for the spiritual health of the body at large. The Westminster Confession of Faith, speaking of the “Communion of Saints,” says “All saints, that are united to Jesus Christ their Head, by His Spirit, and by faith, have fellowship with Him in His graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory: and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other’s gifts and graces, and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.” (Chapter XXVI, Part l)
Those wishing to join Grace Presbyterian Church as members must appear before the Session and speak of their faith in Christ, and their desire to join the church. That testimony should include repentance for sins committed, knowledge of the gospel, belief in the truth of the gospel, and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
Membership also requires satisfactory evidence that you are living a life that agrees with your profession of faith.
As well, church membership requires a promise of obedience to Jesus Christ and His laws, as well as obedience to all lawful authority whether it be that of the state, the home, or the church.
Finally, church membership requires an understanding of the sacraments, and some knowledge of the duties and privileges of communicant membership in order that you and the church might profit and grow and in order that God might be glorified.
Those interested in becoming members of Grace Presbyterian Church should contact one of our Pastors or Ruling Elders.
Keep in mind, then, that YOU form His church. This is the essence of church membership.
May Jesus Christ, the great Head of His Church, be pleased to keep us faithful to Him until we are called to be with Him in glory.