What's So Important About Church Membership? June 16, 2021
This past Sunday, Westover Church welcomed 22 new members during our worship service. Membership is an incredibly important part of supporting the body of Christ as well as growing in your own personal walk with Christ. But what is it that makes membership so important? And what are the benefits of membership? Let’s find out.
Why would I become a member?
Becoming a member of a church is an act of humility and submission. When joining a church, the church member and the local church are making a covenant with one another. Church leaders have been tasked to equip, care for, and serve as examples to members. They have also been tasked with “shepherding the flock” and looking out for the spiritual wellbeing of members of their church. Members, on the other hand, agree in humility to submit to the leadership of the elders, and to be held accountable by them.
Being a member also allows you the opportunity to participate in electing and confirming leaders. Westover members will be able to participates in votes surrounding various leadership positions, including elders, deacons, and lead pastors.
Why is membership important?
The local church is a gift from the Lord to believers– a chosen family of individuals united in their relationship with Christ. United in the love of the Lord and the covenant with the church, these should be the people you do life with. Your church family should be the people you worship with, grow with, celebrate with, and support. This means that in the church there should be no lonely Christians. There is a place for all believers in the body of Christ. What a gift!
Additionally, membership is an important avenue for spiritual gifts. If you are a believer, you have been given spiritual gifts that the Lord has intentionally given and has taken delight in giving to you (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). These gifts have been given “for the common good,” and can be discovered and used best within the context of the local church. In other words, spiritual gifts have been given to you for the benefit of believers, and committing to a local church offers an opportunity for both you and the church to flourish, as gifts can be cultivated and used for the benefit of the church itself.
What is the prcess of becoming a member at Westover?
In order to become a member at Westover, there are a few steps. The first is to take a Membership Class. These classes help you learn even more about what it means to be a member, why membership is important, why baptism is a requirement for membership, and is a chance to learn more about Westover to make sure that this is the place you want to commit.
The second step is to meet with an elder. This meeting is an opportunity to build a relationship with someone in leadership at Westover and provides a space for both the potential member and elder to ask questions to determine if membership is the best next step for the candidate.
Finally, the last step is for membership confirmation. The elders will vote on whether each candidate meets the requirements for membership. Candidates will then be presented to the church as new members during a Sunday service, and will typically conclude with a reception after the service where they can be greeted by and fellowship with the church body.
How fortunate we are to enjoy the gift of community with fellow believers in the local church! If you are interested in becoming a member of Westover Church or in learning more about membership, you can sign up for our next Membership Class or email Mindy Dooley. We hope you will consider becoming a member as you seek to grow closer to Christ!
I Am a Church Member by Thom S. Rainer
Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus by Jonathan Leeman
“Why Join a Church?” by Donald S. Whitney
“God’s Design for the Growth of the Church” by Cheree Hayes