Rationale for Church Membership

 

The widespread language used for joining a local church is to sign a “Membership Covenant.”

We would remind people that Scripture defines a covenant as an oath-sworn promise. We believe in the lawfulness and usefulness of oaths and covenants, but we do not want to convey to people that joining GTCC is like a marriage. Because if it is, then leaving GTCC would be like a divorce, and we want to clearly state that your spiritual marriage is to Christ and not to any local church.

At the same time we do believe that the NT depicts joining oneself to a local congregation as normative for all Christians. We view church membership as a commitment, not a covenant, and members here have the open freedom at any time to resign and seek membership in another Church of Jesus Christ if they choose to. Obviously if a member is seeking to evade corrective discipline by resigning and leaving, the church would still, in love, pursue their repentance.

Our rationale for a ‘Membership Commitment’ is to guard against holding people to a standard other than Scripture and to emphasize that their loyalty is to Christ above any local church. He is their Lord, we are not.