God's Word teaches us that the best context in which a Christian can grow in faith and godly maturity is through joining together in covenant with other believers in the local church. At Franconia Baptist, we seek to grow together through meaningful church membership.
How can I become a member of Franconia Baptist Church?
Becoming a member at FBC is a four-step process:
Membership Class - We offer a class for visitors to learn about what it means to be a member at FBC.
Membership Interview - The prospective member meets with an elder to provide basic biographical information and recount God’s converting work in his or her life. The prospective member would then sign the statement of faith and church covenant, and the application would go to the elders.
Elder Recommendation - At a regularly scheduled elders' meeting, the elders will review the applicant’s testimony. Upon receiving their collective approval, the candidate’s application proceeds to the next step: congregational affirmation.
Congregational Affrimation - During our regular members' meetings, an elder briefly describes how the applicants, who are desiring to be admitted to membership, have come to know the Lord. Questions are fielded, a vote is taken, and with a majority agreement, candidates are admitted into membership.
What does membership entail?
- The members of a church should be Christians. In Acts those who believed the gospel were added to the church (Acts 2:41, 47). Paul letters to churches are letters to Christians (Rom. 1:7, 1 Cor. 1:2). While no church will be able to perfectly discern who is and is not a Christian, every church should open its membership only to those who credibly profess faith in Christ.
- The members of a church should be regular attenders. Church membership helps churches to know their members well. If someone doesn’t regularly attend, the church has no way of knowing how the person is doing spiritually or otherwise.
- Members view the church as their primary context for fellowship and ministry. “I’m a member of Franconia Baptist Church, but my real ministry is…” is an unbiblical way to begin a sentence. The New Testament is full of “one anothers” that were written to the members of local churches. That’s not to say that Christians shouldn’t fulfill those commands among Christians in other churches as occasion arises. Still, the New Testament envisions Christians fulfilling those commands primarily among a concrete group to whom they are accountable (e.g. 1 Cor. 12).
- The members of a church should have certain biblical privileges and responsibilities. The members of a local church should have the privilege of being admitted to the Lord’s Supper. They also have the responsibility to:
- Pray for the church.
- Be in transparent relationships with other church members in which they care for, encourage, rebuke, teach, and learn from each other (Eph. 4:15-16).
- Submit to the church’s leadership and teaching (Heb. 13:17).
- Promote unity in the body (Eph. 4:3).
- Financially support the church’s ministry (Gal. 6:6).
- Use the spiritual gifts God has given them to build up the body however they can (1 Cor. 12:7).
1. “What is meaningful membership?” 9Marks, www.9marks.org/answer/what-meaningful-membership/.
2. “Why Join a Church?” Desiring God, 22 July 2015, www.desiringgod.org/articles/why-join-a-church.