We are glad you are interested in membership! It is impossible to cover the total doctrine of the church here, but we can explain the why and the how to of membership at Brookswood Baptist Church. If anything is unclear or you have questions not covered here, please contact our pastor or one of our Leadership Team members for more information.
What is the Church?
- The church (ekklesia) is composed of believers who have been ‘called out’ of the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of light. 1 Peter 2:9
- It is the body of Christ, with Christ as the head. It continues the work of Christ on earth until He returns. Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23
- It is a community of believers together worshipping God, discipling one another, caring for one another, and using their spiritual gifts to equip one another for ministry. Here is found a spiritual family, accountability, responsibility, and unity. Ephesians 4:11-13,16; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
- It is a dynamic organism through which the power of God is displayed. Always growing, sometimes multiplying, ever standing for righteousness with a God-centred focus. 2 Corinthians 6:16
- It is a fortress, a tower of strength, and a stronghold designed to fight against the powers of darkness. Matthew 16:18
Why Join A Church?
Various people have said, “I am part of God’s church. I don’t have to join yours.” They feel it is enough to be a part of God’s kingdom or ‘universal’ church and they don’t see why it is necessary to join a local body of believers.
When Paul wrote to churches, he wrote “to the church of God in Corinth”, “to the churches in Galatia”, and “to the church of the Thessalonians”, he didn’t write to ‘the church’ in general. These were specific, individual bodies of believers banded together focussed on growing in Christ and spreading His gospel. Paul invested his life in these congregations building them up, strengthening them, protecting them and in turn Paul received great help and support from them. It is important to distinguish between the Kingdom of God and the local church because there are some things that can only be accomplished in and through the local church. The church has a vital role to play in the life of every believer.
Several Passages Are Significant Regarding The Role Of The Church.
Colossians 1:18 “He is the head of the body, the church.” Christ is still in charge of His church. He is the one who will add members to his body
(Acts 2:47) and He does so deliberately and with great care.
Ephesians 4:11-13, 16 speaks of the importance of each person committing to do their part in building up the body. “It was He (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work.” This means that every person is very important to the body. If any person pulls away from the body, it becomes ‘crippled’ or hindered in its effectiveness.
Acts 2:42-47 describes the kinds of activities that were seen in the first church. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and the apostles did many wonders and miraculous signs. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and at together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Here we see clearly the church was a close-knit community that cared for one another’s needs, fellowshipped together, worshipped together, ate together and supported one another. There was a deep commitment to help one another to grow in Christ and to experience the benefits of being in the family of God. God designed the church as a family so that there are no ‘spiritual orphans’ who did not belong to a particular fellowship of believers. To not belong to a church body prevents a person from using their spiritual gifts to ‘prepare God’s people for works of service and to build up the body’ because there is not the long-term commitment and stability necessary for these to happen. Going from church to church to church means there will be no spiritual accountability or intentional discipling happening by more mature Christians.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 implies that Christians need to submit to spiritual leaders and place themselves under their care; “respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.” Paul admonished the elders of the church in Ephesus (Acts 20:28) “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God.” This would be impossible if those Christians living in Ephesus refused to come under their leadership or decided to roam about from church to church (if there were any other churches in the area).
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