Introduction to Membership at LifePoint
Christians are members of God’s household called to participate, connect, and serve among a particular body of believers, the local church (Eph. 2:19). The health and strength of the local church is determined by the faithful commitment of each of its members to the mission. Romans 12:1–8 sets forth a path of transformation for every Christian that begins with personal transformation leading into the church for full expression of giftedness and serving and into the world for faithful proclamation of the gospel.
At LifePoint, membership is a serious matter. Not every casual observer is allowed to become a member, and no member should ever become a casual observer. It does not mean your name is on file in the church office or database. When you join LifePoint, you join a community of people united by faith in Jesus through theology, mission, and vision. Membership is our pathway to leading people to become real Christ-followers in life—together.
What is membership?
Membership must be correctly understood. The Bible does not teach, illustrate, or organize membership as commonly understood in our day where one pays dues to receive services, products, or entitlements. Church membership is an identification with the community of Christ-followers that follows one Lord, begins by one faith, is sustained by one Holy Spirit, and is practiced by committed participation. This is the local, immediate expression of one’s identification with the universal church in Jesus Christ.
Church membership is a covenant to live in relationship with God and in community with his people. The community is built up by God—on the foundation of Jesus Christ—and builds up each member. It identifies those who hold the responsibility for accomplishing the work of mission and those whom the elders are accountable for before God to equip for ministry and mission.
Church membership is taught in the Bible (Rom.12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27). Since the Bible does not mention anyone who was saved and refused to be baptized but gives many examples of people who were saved and then baptized, we can assume that saved and baptized individuals were members of the church (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 36-39; 10:47-48; 16:14-15, 31-33; 18:8). Scripture teaches that church membership should be restricted to those who don’t practice lifestyle sin, sow seeds of disunity, or commit certain sexual sins (Matt.18:15-18; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:1-2, 11).
Other scriptural evidences for church membership include numerical records and records of widows (Acts 2:37-47; 1 Tim. 5:3-16); awareness of church members (Rom. 16:1-16); elections (Acts 6:1-6); discipline (Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5; Gal. 6:1); and elders held accountable for members (Heb. 13:17).
Four Points of Membership
Membership serves to build a gospel-centered community by sound doctrine, transformed lives, missional living, and unity in the body.
The elders are charged with the oversight of church doctrine and are responsible to make sure it remains biblically faithful. Membership through the Navigation Series is a means of teaching and maintaining correct doctrine.
God’s Word is power and calls people to live by his created intention and Spirit- filled empowerment for his honor and glory. We lead people in this by teaching sound doctrine from the whole counsel of God’s Word and as biblical encouragement calls us to act in response to the teaching of God’s Word.
The Bible clearly teaches that every Christ-follower is to live with margin in life in order to serve through the church to build up the body and share the gospel with the world. Membership equips every Christ-follower to discover their unique giftedness and calling to serve (Eph. 4:12-13; 1 Peter 2:2).
UNITY IN THE BODY
The unity of the body of Christ is of utmost importance and is given by God through his Spirit. Membership serves as a gate through which the unity of the church is guarded and protected. Unity allows members to grow in their faith and relationship with God and in their serving through the church as they follow the leaders. Unity allows the leaders to fulfill their responsibility to members with joy and not with added burden (Heb. 13:17).
Membership Requirement at LifePoint Church
People are received for membership based on their salvation or personal professions of faith in Jesus, followed by believer’s baptism. Membership is completed by attending the Navigation Series and signing the Membership Covenant.