Membership

Work Entry

Added: 6/19/2024

Membership Application


Choosing a church home is an important decision and we want to help you discover the right place for you. We hope you'll thrive here as a follower of Jesus and that you will discover a specific role to play in this church family.

After sharing more of your story, you'll be given the opportunity to become a part of our church family. One of our pastors will reach out to confirm your desire to help us help others find and follow Jesus. God bless you and may he help you become a blessing to others.


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Salvation Experience






Why Membership Matters



We want to help you discern whether God is leading you to become a part of Grace Church. The people you worship with become your spiritual family and play a role in your spiritual growth. So, choosing a church home is an important decision. Many churches refer to this commitment as church membership. We do also but want to emphasize the value of seeing yourself as a part of a church family. We find this distinction important because we have a shared interest in God’s specific work in and through Grace Church as a family does.

Covering
Protection, Care
Grace Church is led and governed by a group of elders, in partnership with an advisory team.. These elders exercise spiritual and financial oversight and governance of Grace Church. Our staff and leaders are accountable to these elders (1 Timothy 5:17). The elders, pastors, and leaders of Grace desire to serve in a manner reflective of 1 Peter 5:1-5 and take seriously the responsibility to contend for the integrity of the church because of the type of resistance noted in Acts 20:29-30.

Community
Accountability, Discipleship, Groups
God calls us to dwell in community, and Scripture demonstrates and instructs us in how to pursue unity. Being part of a church family does not grant salvation (Acts 4:12), but does provide biblical covering and the many benefits of community. Being a member of a church family provides the opportunity to be encouraged toward and accountable to living a Christian lifestyle (Romans 12:11-16). We believe one of the best ways to experience life together in Christ is when we are a part of Life Groups or Growth Groups. In this, we are able to practically live out the one anothers we find in Scripture (Acts 2:42-47).

Commission
Sharing the Gospel, Cultural Renewal, Loving Your Neighborhood
It is a joy to share the love of Jesus and the message of the gospel in our city and with those around us. The Bible clearly reminds us to be mindful of others as we pursue Christ. As a member of the church family at Grace, you will be equipped and provided specific opportunities to do just that (Matthew 28:18-20). When we are unified as members of a church family, we begin to think differently about how we can be best equipped to love and serve our neighbors well with a shared purpose and focus (Matthew 6:10).

Commitment
Gathering, Participating, Serving the Body
One of the signs of the kingdom of God is belonging. Our hearts long for this, yet our tendency is to keep our options open. We believe that we can’t have a community without commitment. Becoming a family member signifies our commitment to partnering with one another and contending for the health and work of the church. Every family member has a unique gift that is needed for our church to thrive and truly be at its best for the advancement of the kingdom of God (1 Peter 4:10). In our hope to be a church that loves and serves people well, we commit to serve our body in a specific capacity and remain aware of the present needs of Grace Church and meet those needs when able. (Galatians 6:10; John 13:34-35).



Statement of Faith


The Scriptures
We believe the Bible, composed of the sixty six books of the Old (Hebrew) and New (Greek) Testaments, is God’s inspired Word for mankind. It is the complete Word of God and without mistake, in the original manuscripts (2 Peter 1:19-21). It is the final authority on all matters of life, belief, and practice of our faith (2 Peter 1:3-4). Every accurate translation of the Bible is God’s Word and is intended for our instruction and correction (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Do you believe this to be true?

God
We believe in one God (Deut 6:4), who created everything (Gen 1; Eph 3:9), and eternally exists as Father, Son, and Spirit (Matt 28:19); equal in all respects but distinct in the roles in which mankind is rescued from sin (Eph 1:3-14). God is pure, holy (1 Peter 1:15), all powerful (Isa 46:9-11), full of love (Jn 3:16), and the source of truth (Titus 1:1-2). He has always existed, will always exist (Psa. 90:2) and all things exist through Him (Col 1:17).

Do you believe this to be true?

Jesus Christ
We believe Jesus is the Word of God who became the Son of God (John 1:1,14). Jesus is God, in the flesh (John 10:13). We believe that Jesus Christ was born to Mary, who was a virgin, by the power of the Spirit of God (Gal 4:4-5). He is the Son of God, and God, the Son (Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-35). We believe in His sinless life and miracles (Acts 2:22). We know that his death on the cross was a payment for mankind’s disobedience toward God and selfishness toward others (Romans 3:24-25; 8:34). He died, was buried, physically rose from the dead (Acts 2:18-36), ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9-10), sits at the right hand of the Father, is the only mediator between God and mankind (1 Timothy 2:5), and will return to establish his Kingdom on earth someday (1 Thess 3:13-18).

Do you believe this to be true?

Holy Spirit
We believe in the Spirit of God. We know that His role is to reveal Jesus Christ to mankind and to convict us of our sinfulness and need for God (John 16:7-14). His gives spiritual life to those who believe (John 3:5-6; Titus 3:5) and transforms us from the inside out. He gives spiritual gifts to all believers for participation and service in a local Church (1 Cor 12:12-27) and He keeps the believer in relationship with God until the day they are declared innocent by God at the Judgement (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:1314).

Do you believe this to be true?

The Devil, or Satan
We believe that Satan was once holy but through pride fell and drew after him a third of the angels (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17); that he is now the ruler of evil in this world (Ephesians 2:2), and he is in rebellion against God. We know him to be the tempter and the accuser of the followers of Jesus and that he is destined for defeat by Jesus. Hell was created as the punishment for Satan and he will one day be sent there for all of eternity (Revelation 12:7-10; 13:13-14; 19:11,16, 20; 20:13).

Do you believe this to be true?

The Fall of Man
We believe mankind was created in the image of God and enjoyed an open relationship with God. That relationship was broken when Man voluntarily chose to live his life without regard to God’s will (Gen 3). We know that all of creation was negatively affected by mankind’s rebellion against God (Rom 8:22). The sinful nature of Adam is passed down to each generation through their father (Romans 1:18, 20, 28, 32; 3:10-19; 5:12, 19), by choice they continue to sin and are in need of being rescued from sin to be restored into a relationship with God.

Do you believe this to be true?

Salvation
We believe God is the initiator of reconciliation with us and that salvation is a free gift to all who repent of their sin, placing their trust in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection as the only payment for their sin and follow Jesus (John 3:16-17; Rom 6:23, 8:28-30, 9:22-23). God’s holiness demands that evil must be punished. All of us have sinned against God and others (Rom 3:10, 23) and, therefore, deserve eternal separation from a Holy and Righteous Creator. Our good deeds are not enough to make us innocent of the sins we’ve committed (Eph 2:8-9). So it is solely through God that we have the opportunity to be forgiven and made clean (Rom 5:8). Salvation is as instantaneous as physical birth (John 3:3). We know that salvation refers to that moment when those of us who are spiritually dead in sins are made right with God through Jesus and receive eternal life (Colossians 2:13), the free gift of God; that the new creation is not brought about by the will of man, but by the will of God (John 1:130. We believe that Belief and Repentance are two halves of Faith that makes us right with God (Rom 10:9-10, 13).

Do you believe this to be true?

The Church
We believe that the Church, the body of Christ, is made up of all believers of the church age (1 Cor 12:12-13); that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church (Colossians 1:18) and that local churches are the practical expression of the Church at large. The local Church is a “people who” rather than a “place where”. Therefore, the church is the gathering of those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, have been baptized, associated by a covenant of faith and who meet for the purpose of being a church. Members of a local church voluntarily share their lives and faith with each other in unity and meet together for encouragement, worship, service, prayer, spiritual development (Acts 2:41-42) and to observe the ordinances of the church (Acts 8:36-38) and communion (1 Cor 10:13-16). We know that the local church has the right of self government, free from the interference of any governing organization; that every church determines all issues of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, and of benevolence. We believe the local church is the planned instrument of God to carry out the mission of God (Matthew 28:19-20). Therefore, we believe every believer should join a local church and fully engage in accomplishing its mission.

Do you believe this to be true?

Baptism & Communion
We believe baptism by immersion (under water) is the biblical model of baptism in the New Testament (Matt 3:16; Acts 8:26-29; Col 2:12). We know that baptism is the way in which we physically identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and that it marks the day we choose to let go of our old ways (Rom 6:2-7). We do not believe baptism is automatic entry into a local church but is a prerequisite to membership in a local church (Acts 2:41). We do not believe any denomination or authorizing body has exclusive rights to baptism. We believe that Communion is a tangible symbol of the blood and body of Jesus which was shed and broken as a payment for the sins of mankind. While we do not monitor who participates in communion, we know that the Bible describes it as a practice reserved for those who have already chosen to become followers of Jesus. Each person taking communion should carefully examine themselves to determine if they have adequately prepared their hearts to participate in communion (1 Corinthians 11:23-28).

Do you believe this to be true?

The Preservation of the Saints
We believe that true followers of Jesus remain devoted to Him throughout their lives (Matt 13:19-23; 1 John 2:19); that their endurance is the distinguishing feature of their faith that separates them form those who have only superficially tried on religion (Mt 13:3-23). We know that the Holy Spirit preserves our attachment to God (Eph 4:30; Heb 1:14; 1 Peter 1:5) and that we kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation (Eph 4:30; Rom 8:35-39).

Do you believe this to be true?

The Righteous and The Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (Ps 1:1-6; Matt 7:13-14); that the wicked become righteous only through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The righteous are transformed by the Spirit of God in living, loving, giving and serving like Jesus (Rom 8:29; Titus 3:5). Those who remain in their rebellion against God and in their unbelief are seen as wicked in God’s eyes and are still under Adam’s curse (Gal 3:10). "Those who remain separated from God in their rebellion and unbelief will enter eternity separated from God. And will share in the place created for Satan and his angels." (Matthew 25:41)

Do you believe this to be true?

Sexuality
We believe that God has instructed that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman (1 Cor 7:1-10; Heb 13:4). The reason our sexuality is significant to God is because of what it does for us (Gen 2:24; Mk 10:8) and how it represents Him. Each of us, in our intimacy, are a picture of either Jesus or his Bride, the Church. Men represent Jesus and Women represent the Church (Eph 5:31-32). This is why all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and woman is a BIG DEAL to God (1 Cor 6:9-10). When a man engages in sexual activity with a woman before marriage, it is a picture of Jesus not being pure for his Bride. If a man steps out on his marriage, it is a picture of Jesus not being faithful to his Bride. If a man pursues intimacy with another man, it is a picture of Jesus only loving himself. As to transgender issues: We believe that God is personally involved in your birth (Jer 1:5; Ps 139:13) and formed you with the gender he intended you to have. We don’t believe the person who identifies as transgender was born incorrectly. They are created exactly as God intended: male or female.

Do you believe this to be true?

Family Relationships
We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God (Gal 3:28; 1 Pet 3:7) but that God has designed distinct and separate spiritual functions for them in the church (Col 3:17-19; 1 Tim 2:8-15) and in the home (Eph 5:21-33). The husband is to be the lead servant of the home and men are to be the spiritual leaders of the church (Eph 5:21-33). Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church (1 Tim 2:8-15, 3:1-5). We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society (Mark 10:6-12). The husband is to submit to the needs of his wife and she is to submit to the example of her husband, as described in Ephesians 5. Children are an heritage from the Lord (Ps 127:3-5). Parents, rather than the government or the Church, are responsible for teaching their children to be godly and responsible adults (Deut 6:4-9).

Do you believe this to be true?

The Resurrection and Return of Christ and Related Events
We believe that Christ rose bodily on “the third day according to the Scriptures” (Mark 16:1-19; 1 Corinthians 15:3-7) that He ascended "to the right hand of the throne of God” (Acts 1:9,11); that He alone is our "merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God"; "that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven," bodily, personally, and visibly; that the "dead in Christ shall rise first” (1Thessalonians 4:15-16); that the living saints "shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump”; "that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David"; and that "Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet.” (Rev 20)

Do you believe this to be true?

Missions
We believe that God has commissioned the church to give all people, of every nation a chance to know and follow Jesus (Matthew 28:1920; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:4648; John 20:21). As representatives of Jesus, we must use all available means to share the good news of his sacrifice, the forgiveness of sin, and the instruction to follow his teachings to those in our community, our region, our continent and the ends of the earth (2 Corinthians 5:20; Acts 1:8).

Do you believe this to be true?

The Grace of Giving
We believe that every Christian, out of love for God and others, should give regularly and generously (2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Ephesians 4:28) to God through His local church (1 Corinthians 16:2) to help meet the needs of others (Acts 4:34-37; 1 John 3:16-17) and support the mission of God. We believe that God has established the tithe as the starting point for giving (Genesis 14:20; Mt 23:23; Luke 11:42, 18:12) but every Christian should also give other offerings (out of gratitude) to help make sure those who are far from God get at least one chance to find and follow Jesus.

Do you believe this to be true?

This Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe.





Family Member Expectations and Responsibilities



To become a family member, an individual must be 18 years old or older and in full understanding of the commitments connected to this distinction. A family member of Grace Church is responsible for participating in the life and mission of the church by following Christ and seeking to live as He would live. We commit to do so according to the following premises:

Authentically profess faith in Christ
The local church is a body of believers in Jesus Christ, seeking to be His hands and feet on earth (Ephesians 4:4-6). It is under this shared belief that we unite as a local expression of the body at Grace Church. We have professed our faith and have publicly identified with Jesus and His church through baptism.

Commit to living as a follower of Christ
We commit to continually be moving toward living a life that is a reflection of the love and the way of Jesus. We commit ourselves to the practices of the faith, as well as relationship and growing spiritually with fellow believers (Galatians 3:27).

Protect the peace and purity of Grace Church
We believe we are called to fight to preserve peace and not to participate in sowing discord and disunity in the church. As family members, we commit to forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration as guideposts for relationship (Ephesians 4:32)

Participate in the worship and mission of Grace Church
We commit to regularly attend and faithfully pray for our gatherings and to partake in the Lord’s Supper (Hebrews 10:24-25). We also commit to faithfully give to God through this local church and will move toward generosity. (1 Timothy 6:18-19). We will pray for our spiritually disconnected family and friends, looking for an opportunity to bring them to church with us.

Serve and bless my Grace Church family
We commit to identify our gifts, serve our church in a specific capacity on a Service Team, looking for ways to be a blessing to the people who attend. (1 Peter 4:10). We will also commit to participation and engagement within a Life Group or Growth Group. We believe that this to be our best opportunity for spiritual development and mutual accountability and encouragement.



Membership Agreement


I affirm the Statement of Faith, Why Membership Matters, Family Member Expectations and Responsibilities and agree to not be divisive about any disagreement(s), and understand that this agreement commits the elders of Grace Church to the members and commits me, as a member, to this church family.

I accept the responsibility to notify leadership if at any time I can no longer commit to this agreement or if I have any questions, comments or concerns. By God’s grace, I will seek to fulfill my obligations as a follower of Jesus and member of this church family for God’s glory, my joy and the good of as many as possible.