Becoming a Member
WHY JOIN A CHURCH?
There are many reasons to join the church. Here are a few:
- Identity – The church was instituted by Jesus to be his Body here on earth. Membership is a way to identify ourselves publicly as being part of that Body in a particular location.
- Belonging – When we join a church, we develop a deeper sense of belonging. It becomes our church, not just a church we are visiting or attending.
- Effectiveness – We can accomplish far more ministry together than we can alone—and it will be a far more effective ministry, because we’ll be using all of the various gifts in the Body.
PREPARING TO JOIN
Normally we suggest that you attend Community for several months before you decide to join. No church is right for everyone, and we want you to get to know us before you commit to membership here at Community. Membership also entails various responsibilities, and we want you to feel ready and eager to take on those responsibilities when you join.
If you are in our middle school or high school ministries a special membership class is offered several times throughout the year. Talk with one of the youth directors if you are interested. They will rejoice with you and give you helpful guidance.
New Members Classes are offered on a regular basis throughout the school year. While not required, these three-week classes are a valuable way to learn about Community and its beliefs, programs, and staff. Check the weekly bulletin or call the church office, for the dates of the next
THREE ENTRY POINTS
There are three entry points through which people are received into membership at Community. Which of these entry points applies to you simply depends on where you are in your journey with Christ. If you are not sure which one applies to you, here are the three entry points for becoming a member at Community:
- Baptism or Profession of Faith. The essence of being a Christian is having Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. The Apostle Paul writes, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). If you have never made a public profession of your faith in Christ, this is the place to begin. We invite you to join by taking this simple, but vital action. If you have never been baptized, you can be baptized at this time as well.
- Letter of Transfer. If you are currently a member in good standing of another church, you can simply have your membership transferred to Community.
- Reaffirmation of Faith. If you were a member of a church at one time but drifted away for some reason, you may join by reaffirming your faith. You may also join by reaffirmation of faith if you currently belong to a church that does not transfer memberships (such as the Roman Catholic Church).
THE MEMBERSHIP PROCESS
The best way to become a member of Community Reformed Church is by going through our New Member Classes, led by Pastor Kurt and some of the Elders and Deacons. We offer New Member Classes every few months. These classes explore the history of the RCA, the history of Community, some of our basic beliefs, the Standards of the Faith (The Heidelberg Catechism, The Belgic Confessions, The Canons of Dort, and the Belhar Confession), the Core Values of Community Church, the ministries that Community is involved with, what it means to belong to the church, and how you can connect to the church in an area that you are passionate about. Our goal is to begin building relationships so that we can know how we can best serve together here at Community.
We highly recommend the New Member Classes, but for those who are unable to come to these classes, contact the church office and talk to Pastor Kurt about setting up a separate appointment.
Those who complete the membership classes are automatically qualified for membership. Members are welcomed on the first Sunday of even numbered months. After you complete the classes, we will arrange the date for you to be publicly received during one of our worship services. During that service, you will be asked to come forward and publicly acknowledge your faith in Christ and your commitment to this church by responding affirmatively to several questions.
- Membership in the Church is an ongoing process. You join only once, but your membership ought to grow and deepen over the years. This will happen as you commit yourself to:
- Regular attendance at worship and other church activities
- Praying faithfully for the church and for people in the church
- Giving generously of your tithes for the financial needs of the church
- Using your spiritual gifts and passion to advance the church’s ministries
Reaching out to friends and neighbors who need to hear the Good News of Jesus
We rejoice that you are considering membership here at Community Reformed Church! Please let us know if there is any way we can serve you in this membership process.