May 2008


Encouraging Membership In The Church

 The membership application process in a nutshell: 

Ř OObtain and read through the membership information [See back table].


1                   Attend the two classes which will be taught by Jay Fisher on Sundays at 9:00 AM in Blain’s office.
             These classes will begin in June.

         Meet with one of the Elders to discuss your membership in our Church.  Complete our membership


         After the Elders affirm your membership, participate in our “Right Hand of Fellowship.”  At the end of
             our worship service, you will come forward and be welcomed into the membership of our Church.

In anticipation of this, I would like to affirm the value of member
ship.  My intent is not to pressure people to join the church when the Lord has not yet led them to do so.  Rather, there are three purposes for this newsletter.


1.            1.  To remind existing members of the importance of their membership.


2.            2.  Secondly, I want to encourage those who are now applying for membership.


3.            3.  And thirdly, I want to clear up any confusion that some may have about why we urge people in our 
             Church to consider membership.


 Let me identify several advantages to the formal membership process at Community Church.


AS A SIGN:  Church membership is a beautiful way for a Christian to express commitment to other
            members in the congregation.  At salvation each believer is brought into an indescribably tight
            relationship with other believers in the body of of Christ.  Of course, this interrelationship can only be
            experienced by
those who deeply commit themselves to a local church.  See Eph 2:19-22;

            Eph 4:11-16.  Our formal membership process is the form we use to facilitate and express the reality
            of our union together as members in a local body of Christ.  Church membership is an outward sign of
            an inward reality.                                              


AS             CONSISTENT WITH SCRIPTURE:   Although formal membership is not required by God’s Word, it i
            very consistent with Scripture.  Formal membership at Community Church is a very appropriate way of
            giving meaningful public evidence of the private commitment which God’s Word
commands believers to
            make to the local church.
Heb 10:23-25


            AS AN EXPRESSION OF COMMITMENT TO THE CONGREGATION:  Formal membership expresses
            love and commitment to fellow brothers and
sisters in the congregation.  The “Right Hand of Fellowship”
            ceremony is edifying to the whole church.  In it, new members manifest their pledge to “stand firm in
            one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the
gospel.”   Phil 1:27.


            AS A MEANS OF NEEDED ACCOUNTABILITY:  Membership in the church provides needed
            accountability for the ministries of our Church.  It includes a believer’s affirmation of the Church’s
            Doctrinal Statement and Constitution.  This affirmation is crucial when it comes to selecting junior
            church teachers, ministry leaders, elders, deacons and deaconesses.


            AS A SAFEGUARD FOR CHURCH MEETINGS:  Membership is also extremely important at
            congregational meetings.  In order to ensure that only born again believers affect the outcome of

            decisions at our meetings, formal membership becomes a very practical necessity.


            TO EXPRESS SUPPORT:  Membership is a good way to express the desire to submit to and stand
            alongside the leaders of Community Church. 
Heb 13:17


            AS A TOOL FOR CLASS INSTRUCTION:  These classes allow leadership to provide information about
            our Philosophy of Ministry, the formation of our Church, our Constitution and our Doctrinal Statement.
            One of the Elders will then meet personally with each applicant for membership to discuss his or her
            profession of faith and answer any specific questions which you may have.


            TO SHARPEN FOCUS:  The membership classes are a good opportunity for leadership to sharpen the
            focus and vision of our congregation as together we serve the Lord here at Community Church.


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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427