Blueprint for Membership
I’ve been attending First Baptist Church since 1999 (except for a short 10-month hiatus in CA). I remember first moving to Eugene from Alaska to start graduate school and wanting a church family with whom to connect and some solid biblical teaching to keep me accountable and growing. I remember resonating with the pastor’s messages the first weeks I attended and thinking, “This is where I belong.” Of course, I was in graduate school and had no idea where I’d end up, so, I didn’t even consider membership. But, after I’d been attending for 6 years and my husband needed a membership reference for seminary, we joined.
Admittedly for my part, that was a little ridiculous. I’d been to the Blueprint for Membership class, as well as the two successive classes, and had been consistently serving in the college department. I’m not usually a non-committal person. I honestly think I just didn’t make it a priority, and I’m here to give you reasons why you SHOULD NOT follow in my footsteps.
At FBC, we recognize the need for a formal membership for the following reasons:
1) A Biblical reason: Christ is committed to the church.
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25b NIV)
2) A cultural reason: it is an antidote to our society.
We live in an age where very few want to be committed to anything (e.g., a job, a marriage, our country). This attitude has even produced a generation of “church shoppers and hoppers.” Membership swims against the current of America’s “consumer religion.” It is an unselfish decision. Commitment always builds character.
3) A practical reason: it defines who can be counted upon.
Every team must have a roster. Every school must have an enrollment. Every business has a payroll. Every army has an enlistment. Even our country takes a census and requires voter registration. Membership identifies our family.
4) A personal reason: it produces spiritual growth.
The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. You cannot be accountable when you’re not committed to any specific church family. At FBC, we never ask our members to do more than the Bible clearly teaches. We only expect our members to do what the Bible expects every Christian to do. These responsibilities are spelled out in the Blueprint for Membership class.
The Blueprint for Membership class provides a basic introduction to the family of First Baptist Church (FBC) and is designed to clearly explain who we are and what we are all about. You can expect from the class: A casual and informal atmosphere, an encouraging setting where you can ask questions, a place where you will get honest answers, an opportunity to get better acquainted with others, and No HOMEWORK!!!
Our heartbeat and mission are clear—we are unashamedly about Jesus. We love Jesus, preach Jesus, follow Jesus, adore Jesus, begin and end with Jesus. He is our heartbeat. As the Scriptures say:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (Col. 1:15-16 ESV)
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:9-11 ESV)
If you want to sum up our heart’s desire in one sentence: We want to be disciples of Jesus Christ. In other words, “We want to live, love, and lead like Jesus.”
I would highly encourage you to join the next Blueprint for Membership class (see bulletin ad) and commit to a family already committed to you.
Some content taken directly from Blueprint for Membership Jan. 2014 Teacher’s edition.