Becoming a Member of Praise Center Church
The following information is provided for you to understand the membership process here at Praise Center Church.
Officially becoming a member of a local church is an important step for each believer. The Bible teaches that we are already members "one of another" because of our spiritual union with Jesus Christ. In this sense, we are already all part of that great body of individuals who have come to salvation through personal faith in God's Son. It is clear from the New Testament, however, that God's design is for each Christian to also be an accountable part of an organized, local group of believers who assemble under the pastoral oversight of elders. The loving, mutual service which results among the people of God is His means of presenting Christ to the watching world, and is also one essential way for us to show love for God. As times change, cultures change as well, and often the surrounding society strongly impacts the Church. We live today in an age of increasing demand for privacy, individuals "rights", and self-fulfillment. Sadly, we often find the same attitudes present in those who profess to follow Jesus Christ, and this has negatively affected both the church's power and witness.
Am I ready?
Qualifications of Membership
1. A personal commitment of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior.
2. Submit an application and written testimony of one's personal faith in
Jesus Christ as Savior to the Board of Elders or Senior Pastor
3. Scriptural baptism, since becoming a believer, as a testimony of salvation.
4. Completion of the church membership class- "Discovering Church
5. A signed commitment of agreement with and willingness to abide by the
Praise Center Church Membership Covenant.
6. Submit to a membership dialogue
7. Public affirmation before the other members of the church family
Discovering Church Membership Class
The first step is to participate in the "Discover Church Membership 101 class. It is offered many times throughout the year and can be taken during a one day seminar. This class has six sessions geared to helping you decide if Praise Center Church should become your church home. Although a requirement for membership, this class is designed solely to give people the opportunity to get to know us without any obligation or unsolicited followup.
What it means to be a Church Member
The difference between "attendees" and "members" can be summed up in one word: commitment.
At Praise Center Church we recognize the need for a formal membership. We ask people to commit to membership for four reasons:
1. A Biblical Reason: Christ is Committed to the Church
"...Christ loved the church, and gave his life for it." Ephesians 5:25
if we want to follow Christ we should also be committed to the church.
2. A Cultural Reason: It is an Antidote to our Society
We live in an age where very few want to be committed to anything...a
job...a marriage...our country. This attitude has even produced a
generation of "church shoppers, hoppers, and vagabonds."
Membership swims against the current of America's "consumer
religion" and encourages people to become contributors. It is an
unselfish decision that demonstrates our love for others. Commitment
always builds character.
3. A Practical Reason: It Defines Who Can Be Counted On
Every Team must have a roster. Every army has an enlistment. Even our county takes a census and requires voter registration. Membership identifies our family.
4. A 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. You are
more likely to be unaccountable when you've not committed to any
specific church family. Living outside of accountability is a dangerous place to be.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME AS A MEMBER?
At Praise Center Church we never ask our members to do more than the Bible clearly teaches. We only expect our members to do that the Bible expects every Christian to do. Those responsibilities are spelled out in the Membership Covenant.
THE PRAISE CENTER CHURCH MEMBERSHIP COVENANT
Having received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and been baptized, and being in agreement with Praise Center Church's Confession of Faith, Constitution, and Covenant, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the Praise Center Church Family. In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:
1. I WILL PROTECT THE UNITY OF MY CHURCH
...By acting in love toward other members
...By refusing to gossip
...By following the leadership
"Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart." 1 Peter 1:22
"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."
"Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you." Hebrews 13:17
2. I WILL SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MY CHURCH
...By praying for its growth
...By inviting the unchurched to attend
...By warmly welcoming those who visit
"We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers." 1 Thessalonians 1:2
"Then the master said to the servants, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."
"Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God." Romans 15:7
3. I WILL SERVE THE MINISTRY OF MY CHURCH
...By discovering my gifts and talents
...By being equipped to serve by my pastors and elders
...By developing a servant's heart
"As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." 1 Peter 4:10
"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ"
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." "But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men." Philippians 2:3-4 & 7
4. I WILL 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 is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25
"Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel"
"On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collection when I come"
1 Corinthians 16:2