WHY WE BELIEVE MEMBERSHIP MATTERS
What is church membership? Many times this topic brings up images of belonging to a club, but that's not at all what church membership is about. At the core, membership is a Christian's visible belonging to a local community that fleshes out our invisible belonging to the kingdom of God (Acts 2:41-17). Christian's are those that have been brought under the rule and tender care of King Jesus and He has gifted to us the local church where his people gather locally to learn, love one another, worship the king, and be equipped to share the king's message. As his heirs, we represent his Kingdom as an outpost, an embassy. This means that we carry out the work of God's redeeming grace on all creation as instruments of mercy by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Because of these truths, we should not think of local churches as clubs to join, but as a local expression of the family of God to which we already belong. Therefore, we don't join churches in the same way that we join a gym or club. The call of God on the believer is to devote yourself to his church by devoting yourself to a local church community.
the role of baptism
Christian baptism is the immersion (to submerge) of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. (The Baptist Faith and Message, VII.I)
Christian Baptism also plays a key role within the life of the congregation by:
- Initiating the one baptized into the full life of the church family.
- Calling the one baptized to submit to the leadership of the church and devote themselves to the building up of the body.
- Calling on the church to love, encourage, and exhort the one baptized.
* To read more on our beliefs regarding baptism, click here.
We pray that you won't be discouraged by our process of membership as if these are hoops that you must jump through in order to be accepted by us. If you are redeemed, then you are already accepted into God's family. The point of our membership process is for your benefit so that you gain an understanding of who we are and why we do what we do.
Membership is open to all believers and receivers of Jesus Christ whose aim is to follow him in every aspect of their lives. Perfection is not a requirement because if it were, none would be welcome. Therefore, if you are a believer and receiver of Jesus Christ, have been baptized according to our distinctives and would like to place your membership at Coggin, then the membership process is as follows:
- Make your desire to join known (e.g. come forward during the response time of morning worship, seek out our encouragers found in the First Connect Room on Sunday mornings).
- Attend FIRST STEPS, our two part new members class.
- Meet one-on-one with someone from our pastoral staff so that we can get to know your story and how we can best serve you.
- Receive a vote of affirmation from the congregation at one of our regular scheduled business meetings
If you're interested in learning more about our beliefs regarding church membership and why we have the process we have, we encourage you to check out our Membership Matters Sermon Series. If you have any questions, then feel free to contact us.