Joining the Church

The benefits of and steps toward membership at Anchor Baptist Church

I thought I became a member of the local church when I got saved.

When you trust Jesus as your personal Savior, you are placed into the “body of Christ”. This refers to the collection of all saved individuals.  The Bible also describes separate gatherings of believers.  There are seven churches mentioned in Revelation 2-3. Each one had its own Pastor.  Being “saved”, and being “added” to the church are described as two different events. (Acts 2:47)

Why should I become a member of a local church?

The church is God’s designated institution for the evangelizing of the unsaved, edifying of the believers, and the exercising of spiritual gifts.  We must also understand the importance of accountability in our lives.  The Bible demonstrates how the local church helps encourage the Christian from slipping into sinful living.

Operating as an incorporated, non-profit organization demands certain accountability. Membership is a prerequisite for serving in most areas of Anchor Baptist Church.

What is necessary for me to become a member of Anchor Baptist Church?

The pattern for being a part of a local church was established in Acts 2:37-47

· You must be born again!  These are the words of Jesus in John 3:3.  Those who “gladly received his word” (Acts 2:41) were responding to the message of “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21).

· You must be baptized.  A valid baptism is immersion in water,  after salvation by a Bible-believing church.  The next step for a convert in the early church was baptism (Acts 2:41).

· You must believe the  Bible.    Unfortunately, not everybody who claims to believe what the Bible teaches agrees with what it teaches.  To clarify what we believe God’s Word teaches, we have adopted a constitution.  You should read through the Constitution of  Anchor Baptist Church and be in agreement with it.  If you have any questions about something you read, ask the Pastor.  He will be happy to clarify anything that needs explaining.

If I am ready to join, what do I do next?

Simply tell the Pastor that you are interested in becoming a member.  An informal gathering with the Pastor and deacons will be arranged for your convenience. We ask that you read through the church constitution before this meeting. Members should be supportive of how the church operates.  Once you have shared your testimony of salvation, you will be recommended to the congregation for membership. This usually takes place at the conclusion of a regular church service.    In this way, you do not have to speak before the entire church unless you so chose.  You are voted in by the members who are present at that service.

Why does Anchor Baptist Church vote new members into the congregation?

The functions of the church are open for anyone to attend.  There must be some official way of receiving new members into the church.  To serve within the church, one ought to be a member of the church.  The Bible warns us about those who might attempt to come into the church to do it harm (Acts 20:28-29).  The early church had a method of “confirming the souls” (Acts 14:22). 

What if I have more questions about this important decision?

The Pastor is eager to fully explain anything about the church you might like to know.  Questions are never viewed as skepticism.  You are encouraged to have a spirit of careful and prayerful consideration before deciding to become a member.

To help inform every individual fully concerning the purpose and plans of this ministry, a Church Information Class is offered periodically. It is based on interest.  Inform the Pastor if you would like to be included in the next class.

If you are uncertain about whether you are truly born again, tell the Pastor that you are interested in the Good News Bible Study.   This simple study will help you to know exactly what the scriptures teach about being a Christian.

Dear Friend,

It is my prayer that God will lead you to join us in the work of reaching our community for Christ.  In bringing new members into the church, we try to be careful, but not complex.

It has been a joy to see the “Lord adding to the church” (Acts 2;47).  Every member is an important part of our ministry.  Will you consider this important step?