WHY MEMBERSHIP MATTERS
The Christian life is to be lived in community. There is no such thing as private Christianity.. We need each other. Likewise, we are called to love and serve one another as a corporate body of Christ (Heb.10:23-25). Christians unite as a family of faith. The local church is a signal of the Christian’s heavenly home that is to come. It is a Kingdom outpost.
From passages such as 1 Corinthians 12, we understand church membership to be an individual’s covenant commitment to a local church, that is, the body of Christ. In membership, the Christian is recognized as a partner in ministry, an example for others to follow, and a servant of Christ.
How do I become a member of Coats Baptist Church?
For those desiring church membership, our membership process includes the following steps:
Become a follower of Jesus.
Choose Jesus, then choose a church. Christians make churches, not vice versa (John 3:1-16; Eph. 2:1-10). The local church is a body of believers in Christ who covenant together in revealed truth, gathered community, and a common mission. Therefore, to be a member of the local church, one must first be a member of the body of Christ (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 12:12-13).
Express your desire for membership.
You can do this at the close of a Sunday service (either during our public invitation or through a conversation with a pastor). We want to hear from you. Please contact our church office, send an email, or fill out a connection card while you are with us on Sunday. Let us know how we can help you take your next step.
Attend CBC 101.
We require all membership candidates to meet with our pastoral team. The CBC 101 class provides a convenient opportunity to meet our pastors, have your questions answered, learn more about the church ministry, and discover ways to connect and serve. You will also be encouraged by meeting other membership candidates walking the same journey as you (2 Cor. 13:5). The class meets on the first Sunday of every month at 4:30pm.
Participate in baptism.
We believe baptism is a New Testament ordinance for all Christians. As Baptists, we practice “believer’s baptism,” which is baptism by immersion after your conversion. If you have not been baptized, you will be asked to do so before your membership process is complete (Rom. 6:4; Acts 8:37; Matt. 28:19). If you have been baptized by immersion as an act of obedience to Christ’s commands (Matt. 28:19) in a church of like faith and practice, your previous baptism will be accepted for membership.
Our statement of faith, the Baptist Faith and Message (2000), reads:
Christian baptism is the immersion 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 a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, 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. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.
Be presented as a new member.
Our church has a member’s meeting (business meeting) each quarter where we vote to accept candidates for membership (1 Cor. 12:14, 27). If you have completed the above steps, the church will vote to receive and welcome you as a new member!
What are the expectations of new members?
Members are expected to be faithful in all duties essential to the Christian life (e.g., faith, family, and finances are key). While maintaining a Christian lifestyle that is above reproach, members also share the burden of Coats Baptist. We seek to make fully devoted followers of Christ equipped for life on mission, and therefore have core expectations of our members. These can be summarized under three headings: 1) Relationship; 2) Partnership; and 3) Stewardship.
We expect our members to regularly attend Sunday worship services as well as Sunday (or weekly) small group Bible studies. We believe God’s people want to be with God’s people. It’s that simple. Spiritual growth begins and is cultivated by gathering together with Christians for corporate worship and the preaching and teaching of God’s word.
We believe God designed us for community, which is where real life happens together. Group life is context for living and learning in relationship with each other. In our groups, we practice studying the Bible, caring for one another, and doing life together. The Christian life is not intended to be lived alone. In short, through relationships we practice the “one another” commands in Scripture.
(1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 3:11; Eph. 4:2, 32; 5:21; Col. 3:16; 1 Thess. 5:11, 15; Herb. 3:13; 10:25; James 5:16; 1 Peter 1:22; 4:19; 1 John 3:23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2 John 1:5)
We expect our members to actively participate in service opportunities throughout the church. We have a “here to help” culture of service within our fellowship. We believe that a serving church is a growing church — and a serving Christian is a growing Christian! We encourage people to ask these questions of themselves as they seek to discover their giftings and place of service within the body of Christ – 1) What need of my church canInot ignore? 2) What desire of mine can I not shake? 3) What ability of mine can I not hide? (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:1-18; Eph. 4:11; 1 Peter 4:10) When you’re ready, we’d love for you to let us know where you’d like to serve by completing a serve survey here.
We expect our members to practice generosity in giving of themselves and their resources. Living a life of generosity expresses itself through serving the church and giving of financial resources. We want our members to give cheerfully, generously, and faithfully as they support the ministry of Coats Baptist (Luke 6:38; 2 Cor. 9:7; Phil. 4:14-19). You can access online giving here.