Membership

WHY MEMBERSHIP?

“So, we, who are many, are one Body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12:15

Bethel Pentecostal Church is a place where the message of Jesus Christ is proclaimed. But proclaiming the Gospel alone does not make us a church. What makes us a church, not just an evangelistic organization, is the degree to which we are a community. We have attendees and visitors but we also have members. People can belong to our fellowship. They can know they are connected.

Some assume that as long as you profess Christ there is no need for any further identification with a local church. Isn’t it enough to simply call yourself a Christian and attend services somewhere regularly? What is the point of formal membership?

Three Reasons
We believe there are at least three reasons for having a formal membership.

First, we believe the concept of membership is biblical. While the term “church member” is never used, the concept is implicit throughout the New Testament.

Believers identified themselves with a specific local Body and were challenged to become devoted participants.

Second, formal membership is valuable to the leaders of the church as they seek to fulfill their God-given task of shepherding. Bethel Pentecostal Church, like any organization, attracts the uncommitted. Some are seekers, some are observers, and some are guests. We hope that will always be the case. But at some point, it is important to identify those who truly comprise the “flock” at Bethel – the core that can be counted on to build and sustain the ministries of the church. 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, experience shows that membership benefits the individual. In a culture where
commitment is no longer highly valued, recognizable membership is an important step that moves each of us out of the shadows of good intentions and into the clear light of committed participation. It presents a challenge to “step out of the stands” and publicly affirm a commitment to Christ and a specific local Body.

Formal membership can be a significant defining moment.

“Positional” and “Participating”
But how exactly do you define a “MEMBER”? This is a legitimate question. The Bible describes two kinds of “membership.” Scriptures speak about our once-and-for-all union with Christ and His Body. This happens at the instant of our conversion (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 2:13-22; 4:3-6; Colossians 1:13-22). At that moment, you become a “positional member” in the universal church of Jesus Christ, based solely on His merit and grace. “Positional membership” is eternal and unchanging. But then the Bible also urges “positional members” to continue growing by becoming “Participating Members” in a specific local assembly (Romans 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12:25-31; 14:12,26; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Timothy 3:14-15). You may be a “Participating Member” of several different local bodies during the course of your life while maintaining a permanent “positional membership” in Christ’s universal Church. We cannot see the invisible bond of “positional membership”, but we can identify those who are 

“Participating Members” here at Bethel.
Defining “Participating Membership”

How can “Participating Membership” be described biblically? We attempt to summarize it by using the “Five G’s.”

Grace

The individual appropriation of the saving work of Christ followed by baptism as a believer (Ephesians 2:8,9)

Growth

The ongoing evidence of a changing life and pursuit of Christ-likeness
(2 Peter 3: 17,18)

Group

Participation in the Body of Christ and connection with others in
significant relationships (Acts 2:46)

Gifts

Seeking to live a Spirit-filled life serving Christ’s Body according to the
spiritual giftedness and passion that is God-given (1 Corinthians
12:7,11,18; Romans 12:6-8)

Good Stewardship

Honoring God with one’s material resources and supporting the church
using the biblical precedent of the tithe as a goal to reach or exceed as
God prospers (Malachi 3:10-12; 1 Corinthians 16:1,2; Philippians 4:11-
19)

We believe these statements capture the essential “marks” of
someone devoted to Christ and His Church. These characteristics are
biblical. As such, we believe they should provide the criteria for
Participating-Membership at Bethel. Simply put, if you are evidencing
these characteristics within this Body of believers, then you truly are a
Participating Member. As a church, we want to formally affirm that fact
and celebrate it 

Church Membership

Admission and Re-admission for Membership in the Church may be initiated by speaking with the Pastor or the Board appointed designate for this purpose, and will require adhering to any Board approved policies and procedures, as may be amended from time to time, but will generally require an application and participation in a new members’ class.

  • Begin The Process By Speaking With The Pastor.
 

NEXT MEMBERSHIP CLASS: TBA

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