WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A MEMBER?
The difference between “attenders” and “members” can be summed up in one word: COMMITMENT.
At Christ’s Ambassadors, we recognize the need for a formal membership. We ask you to commit to membership for four reasons:
A. BIBLICAL REASON:
Jesus Christ is COMMITTED to the Church –
“…Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it” Ephesians 5:25
B. CULTURAL REASON:
We live in an age wherein only a few would want to be committed to anything…a job…a marriage…our country. This attitude has even produced a generation of “church shoppers and hoppers”.
Church Membership in America is taken light-heartedly out of selfish reasons. “If they don’t tell me what suits me, I can’t commit to belonging” – many who are so-called Christians say. But it should not be so. Church Membership is an unselfish decision. Commitment always builds character.
C. PRACTICAL REASON: It defines who can be counted on
Every team must have a roster. Every school must have an enrollment. Every business must have a payroll. Every army has an enlistment. The nation even takes census of her citizens and requires voter registration. Can Church Membership be different? No. Membership identifies our family.
D. PERSONAL REASON: It produces spiritual growth
The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another…” James 5:16
“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; be of the same mind one toward another..” Romans 12:5, 10, 16
You cannot be accountable, be trusted, or grow spiritually as you ought when you are not committed to any specific church family. God expressly desires for us to fellowship with one another and be accountable to one another – Hebrews 10:24-25
We never ask our members to do more than the Bible clearly teaches. We only expect our members to do what the Bible expects every Christian to do. These responsibilities are spelled out in the Membership Covenant which can only be affirmed after being baptized and/or on joining the Church:
NOW THAT I HAVE RECEIVED CHRIST…
Having received Christ as my Lord and Savior, been baptized, and being in agreement with Christ’s Ambassadors’ statements and structure, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the Christ’s Ambassadors’ Church family. In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:
1. PROTECT THE UNITY OF MY CHURCH
…By acting in love toward other members
…By refusing to gossip
…By following the leaders
“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” Romans 14:19
“…the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus.” Romans15:5
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” 1 Peter 1:22
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17
2. SHARE THE RESPONSIBILTIES OF MY CHURCH
…By praying for its growth
…By inviting the un-churched to attend
…By warmly welcoming those who visit
“To the church… We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers” – 1 Thessalonians 1:2
“Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:21,23
3. SERVE IN ANY OF THE MINISTRIES OF MY CHURCH
…As I discover my gifts and calling
…By submitting to being equipped to serve by my Pastors
…By developing a servant’s heart
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10
“God gave… some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Ephesians 4:11-12
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
4. SUPPORT THE TESTIMONY OF MY CHURCH
…By attending faithfully
…By living a godly life
…By giving regularly
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another..” Heb. 10:25
“…let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that … I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27
“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him…” 1 Cor. 16:2
“…all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s: it is holy unto the LORD…Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house…” Leviticus 27:30;