Church Membership

What does Church membership mean?

1.  Knowing Jesus as Saviour

To be a member of Meredith Road Baptist Church, you must have come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; acknowledging that He died on the cross for your sin, that you have asked Him to forgive and cleanse you from all your guilt, that you believe that He rose from the dead, and that He will be your Lord and Saviour for all eternity.  When we accept Jesus and commit to following Him, He promises to walk with us (John 14: 16-17).  For the rest of our life He will work with us, and in us, through His Spirit and Word, to make us more like Jesus everyday, preparing us, along with the whole church, for eternity in heaven.

2.  Baptism

The New Testament teaches that all who repent and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord should be baptised.  Baptism is making a public statement to God, the church and the world that your life has been cleansed from sin and that you no longer belong to yourself but to God for the rest of your life.  Baptism is not a necessity for membership but we strongly encourage it. 

3.  Jesus the Head of the Church

The Bible describes the Church as the body of Christ, with church members, using their different gifts, all representing different parts of the body.  Jesus is represented as the Head, and therefore holds all authority over the Church through His Word and by the Holy Spirit.

4.  Local Church Membership

When a person becomes a Christian he or she automatically become part of Christ’s body, the Church.  Local church membership is an outward declaration of this inward truth.  It enables a local body of believers to commit themselves to God and to each other as a church and to be accountable to each other in areas of spiritual growth and holiness.  It is vital to remember that we become a member of God’s family and not an organisation.  God’s family is bound together by the Holy Spirit, the gospel of grace, love, hope and obedience.

5.  Commitment

Being a church member commits you to taking an active part in the life of a church, including hearing, reading and meditating on God’s Word, praying, witnessing, discipling, giving, caring and attending regularly at Sunday worship.  At the same time the congregation commits itself to you, promising to pray for you, disciple, love, support and encourage you.  Each part of the body has different uses and God has graciously gifted the members in each church according to the ministries he has planned for them.  It is our responsibility to seek God’s will together and use and develop our gifts in Jesus through the power of his Spirit.

6. Church Life and the Wider Community

Being part of a church family is much more than an allegiance to a building or attending a service on a Sunday.  True worship involves our whole life.  We support each other as believers at all times, but much more than this, we recognise that we live in, and are part of, the wider community.  Therefore as individuals or the local church we must play a positive and active role in demonstrating God’s unconditional love and grace to others.  We seek to promote peace and understanding, to be ready to stand against injustice and to defend those who are oppressed or persecuted in any part of the world.     

7.  Sharing Faith

Jesus commands us all to go into the world and make disciples.  Therefore, it must be at the heart of every believer to tell others about the gospel of Jesus and how he can change lives.  His love for us must be demonstrated by our actions, being ready to give a reason for our hope.  It is also in God’s purpose that this is done within the context of the local church.

8.  God’s Word and Prayer

For God’s people to grow we must be a praying people and a people of the Bible.  It is our corporate and individual responsibility to become more like Jesus day by day.  It is therefore vital that we come together regularly as a local fellowship to hear God’s word and to pray, learn, and disciple each other.  This is part of our commitment to each other and to God.  As individuals too, we need to commit ourselves to a regular pattern of private prayer and Bible study/meditation.  In this way, the Holy Spirit can work in our lives and in the local church to the Father’s glory.

9.  Giving

The Bible teaches that the reason that we have time and money is for the benefit of others and for our own needs, in that order.  We therefore seek to give generously and unstintingly as God in Christ gave everything He had for us.  We give as His Spirit leads and according to the needs of the Church.

How do I become a church member?

If you wish to be considered for church membership, please speak to the Minister. A meeting will be arranged with you to talk about the responsiblities of membership and hear about your journey to faith. If supported, your details will be shared at the subsequent church meeting by the person who has met with you before a vote is taken by the membership.  All new members are welcomed into the fellowship at the next convenient Sunday service.