How to Become a Member?
You may have never been in a church that talked about or practiced church membership. The concept may be new to you. If so, you can read more about why we think church membership is so important here. If you agree that joining a church is important, and part of obedience to God’s instruction to you, then here is a simple guide to how the membership process works at our church.
- Attend all 6 membership classes. These classes will give you a fuller understanding of who we are as a church, what we believe, and what is central to our life together. These classes are offered at different times throughout the year, either on a weekend, or during our Redeemer class hour. To find out more about the next available classes check our cal
- Have a chat with an elder. After completing the classes, you will set up a conversation with one of the elders of Redeemer. The goal of these meetings is for us to get to know you and your story, especially how you came to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Since the Gospel is the most important part of who we are, this is also an opportunity for you to share your understanding of the message of the Gospel.
- Get baptized (if you haven’t been baptized already). Baptism is a public statement of faith in Christ, and unity with Him in his death, burial, and resurrection. While baptism does not save, it is a necessary step of obedience in a believers’ life.
- Congregational vote. If the elders recommend you to become a member at Redeemer, there is still one more step. Jesus left the authority over matters in the church to the whole church, not just pastors or leaders. So the decision on who comes into the church is a church decision. At our members’ meetings, we discuss and vote on all new member applicants.
Does attending the classes obligate me to join?
No. Attending the classes does not mean you have to join the church. Often we will have people come to the classes, hear about us, and decide they’d like to go elsewhere. We offer these classes so that you can know about us before you make a decision to join with us.
Are there ever people who apply for membership, but don’t become members?
Yes. If a person applies, but does not become a member, it will usually be for one of two reasons: issues of belief or repentance. (1) Issues of belief: In order to be a believer, a true Christian, you must believe the Gospel. If you don’t know this Gospel, or don’t believe it, we will first encourage you to do that before you join the church. (2) Issues of repentance: Following Jesus is not just about believing the message of salvation. We are also called to repent, and leave our sins behind. If someone will not turn away from their sin, then they should not claim to know Jesus or to be following Jesus (1 John 3:5). And if someone can’t know Jesus while holding on to their sin, then they also can’t be a part of Jesus’ family, the church.
So let’s say someone does not become a member because of issues of faith or repentance. Should they just stop coming to Redeemer? No! The best thing to do would be to keep coming to hear the Gospel and find out how to respond to the Gospel in repentance and belief. We want people to come and meet with us to learn about the true, life-giving message of the Gospel. We invite and welcome any one who has sin (we all do!) to hear how they can find joy and freedom from sin in following Jesus.
Being turned away from membership initially could be the best thing that ever happens to someone. God could use that to open their eyes to the truth of the Gospel and their need for repentance. And for all who have found Christ as Savior and Lord, we would welcome them as members of the family of God at Redeemer.
Do I need to get baptized again?
Not necessarily, but maybe. It all depends on whether or not you were personally trusting in Christ and repenting of your sins at the time of your previous baptism. If not, then you were not baptized – at least not in the biblical sense. But, if you were baptized in a previous church that preaches the same Gospel we believe in, and you recognized that your baptism was a public statement of Christ’s saving work in your heart, then no, we would not ask you to be baptized again in order to join Redeemer.
What will be expected of me if I join?
Everyone who joins Redeemer agrees to support and uphold our beliefs and our covenant. The statement of faith summarizes the primary things we believe as a church. Our commitment to belief that the Scripture teaches these things is one of the sources of our unity. The covenant is a set of promises that we make to one another – promises that reflect what the Bible commands us to do as a church family. Regularly gathering together, praying for one another, giving financially to the ministry of the church – these are just a few of the commitments you agree to make to fellow church members at Redeemer when you join.