At SPCC, we highly value church membership because the Word of God highly values it, and in addition, all the loving and gracious benefits it gives to members and church leaders.
While the Bible speaks of one unified church, "to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations" (Ephesians 3:21), it also speaks of the church by locality, thus implying local church membership:Acts 11:22:
"The report of this came to the ears of the church at Jerusalem
, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch."Acts 13:1:
"Now there were in the church at Antioch
prophets and teachers, …..”1 Corinthians 16:1:
"Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia
, so you also are to do."
The Bible also uses the plural, "churches”, implying a different church at different locations, all one under the authority of Christ:Acts 14:23:
"And when they appointed elders for them in every church
, with prayer and fasting the committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed." Acts 15:41:
"And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
"1 Corinthians 4:17:
"That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church
We read in Scripture about church leadership (elders and deacons, 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1), church order (1 Corinthians 14:40), and the ministering of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12-14), which all speak to not only an organism (the body of Christ), but an organization (a visible church). One of the most important fundamentals of formal church membership is submission to those who are of authority over you (Ephesians 5:21; Hebrews 13:17). Church discipline (Matthew 18:15-18; Galatians 6:1-7), for the peace and purity of the body of Christ, would be impossible to do if not for formal church membership, as there would be no set standards and no recognition of authority.
By identifying ourselves with a particular church, we let the pastors, staff and other members of that local church know that we desire to grow in our relationship with Jesus, to love God and others, and that we intend to be committed in attendance, giving, prayer, and service. We assure the church of our commitment to Christ in serving with them, and we call for their commitment to encourage us in our discipleship. In short, we enter a covenant relationship with that specific church and its leadership.
At SPCC, we have a membership class for those interested in becoming a member. If you have any questions about church membership at SPCC, please send an e-mail to email@example.com