Before deciding to join a church, you need to understand what a church is supposed to be. The New Testament describes the church as a body of people who profess and give evidence that they have been saved by God’s grace alone, for His glory alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Almost every occasion of the word “church” means a local church, not simply the vast number of believers throughout history. Therefore, the church is a local, living and loving collection of people who are committed to Christ and each other in a covenant community.
First Baptist Church strives to be a biblical church and has developed an environment that promotes worship, community and mission with the goal of “Glorifying God by making disciples of Jesus Christ”. So why join us?
1. For Obedience & Assurance
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ means we are going to live according to his commands. In joining the church, we put ourselves in a position where we ask our brothers and sisters to hold us accountable to live according to what we speak with our mouths. By becoming a member of the church, we are grasping hands with each other to know and be known by each other. We need individually to covenant together with others to follow Christ. (John 14:21, John 15:10; 1 John 4:20)
2. For Edification & Accountability
The church body is a place for each individual to be personally encouraged, and for each person to edify or build up other believers. Joining a church helps us to realize the corporate nature of Christianity. We cannot say we love Christ’s church and not long to be a part of it. Such a claim to love, without a life backing it up, is a bad sign.
The New Testament shows clearly that our following Jesus is supposed to involve care and concern for each other. Christ is concerned about how you treat others-and that includes how you treat others with whom you have nothing in common except for Jesus Christ. That’s why we all need to invest our lives in one another. Church membership is our opportunity to grasp hold of each other in responsibility and love. (Hebrews 10:19-25)
3. For Evangelizing the World
Evangelism is the good news that Christ came to save sinners and restore them into fellowship with God. We should join a local church for the sake of taking this news to the world. A local church is an organization that weekly sends missionaries into the world. We promote the Gospel by cooperating to take it to those who have not yet heard it, and by making the Gospel visible to the world by the lives that we live. As we live for Christ, we can expose the many false gospels of our world. (Matthew 28:18-20)
4. For the Glory of God
Finally, but perhaps primarily, if you are a Christian, you should join a church for the glory of God. It often surprises us that the way we live our lives can bring glory to God. Christ commands us to individually and corporately live in a way that will bring glory to the Father. (Matthew 5:16; John 13:34-35)