So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 12:5 (ESV)
What is church membership?
Membership is a way to affirm your commitment to the mission, doctrine, and values of our local expression of the body of Christ at Outward Church. Membership is designed as a helpful way for us to know who we can count on to partner with us in ministry - to delineate between those who are committed and those who are simply curious.
What is the biblical basis for church membership?
Membership visibly identifies you with Christ. The majority of Paul’s letters were written to a body of believers - not individual Christians. Scripture supports the idea of those belonging to Christ as “inside” the church, versus those not in Christ as “outside” (Eph 2:19, 1 Cor 5:1-13, Matt 18:15-17). Church membership is a physical expression of the spiritual reality of new life in Christ.
Membership acknowledges our place in God's Kingdom and identifies us with something much bigger than ourselves (1 Cor 12:12-31, Rom 12:3-8).
Membership reflects the biblical concept of covenant, and by extension, the idea of selfless commitment (Romans 12:1-2). Put another way, membership allows us to “stop dating the church and marry it.”
Membership reflects a desire to be held accountable in biblical community, as you live in submission to biblical leadership (Hebrews 3:13, Ephesians 4:11-16).
Membership helps church leaders be better shepherds (1 Peter 5:1-3, Hebrews 13:17, Acts 20:28). Membership allows pastors and elders to know who to shepherd - who they will give an account for - by knowing who is actually a part of the church.
How do I become a member?
Our next membership class will be offered November 12, 2017.