Why does FBC have “members”?
The Bible uses the metaphor of a body to describe the church: ‘‘For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ’‘ (1 Cor. 12:12). It’s a beautiful illustration of how we’re each created to serve different functions, we need everyone to function in order to be a healthy body, and all of us as separate parts find purpose and unity under Jesus, ‘‘the head of the body, the church’‘ (Col. 1:18). Members are the church (Eph. 2:19-22).
There are also requirements based on the laws of the province of British Columbia. Our church is considered a non-profit society and therefore comes under the jurisdiction of the Societies Act of BC. This act requires our church to have members who make decisions on behalf of the church by voting. Becoming a member allows you to have a voice in the decisions our church makes.
Why should I become a member?
1) Jesus established the local church as an expression of God’s spiritual family (Gal. 4:6-7; Eph. 1:5). Spiritual life in Christ (as it is described in the New Testament) is life that is meant to be lived within the context of a local church.
2) It is in the local church that we care for each other, pray for each other, and serve one another. As we minister out of the gifts God has given us we grow and mature in the faith. We are designed to grow together, not in isolation (Eph. 4: 11-16).
3) By becoming a member, we help our spiritual leaders lead (Hebrews 13:7, 17). Through formal membership, leaders come to know who has committed to this local body and for whom they must give an account to God (1 Peter 5:2). In membership we also give permission for leaders to exercise spiritual oversight over us, which they are called to do (Acts 20:28).
4) By joining a local church, committing to the church’s direction and submitting to the church’s authority, we enter into a real-life setting where the spiritual life is realized. Understood in this way, church membership involves us in active discipleship (Hebrews 10:24-25). At FBC, this includes supporting our corporate vision (and seeking to grow personally) in our efforts to reflect God’s glory in Heart, Home, Church and World. Check out our Vision brochure for more info.
5) Membership helps identify us with a local church and what it represents. In this way, we declare our allegiance to Jesus and become a witness for Him as the church proclaims Christ to the world. By “planting our flag” with the local church, we become part of God’s evangelistic effort (John 13:34-35, Eph. 3:10, 1 Peter 2:9-12).
What’s the difference between a member and someone who just goes to FBC every week?
If you’re not a member, then you remain to a certain extent separated from the maturity, protection, accountability, and care that come with being an active part of the church. Scripture calls us a body, a family, a household; essentially, being a Christian is not a solo effort. Jesus works through the church (Eph. 2:10), the church is Jesus’ body (1 Cor. 12:27), and apart from Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15).
Becoming a member shows that you are not just here to consume, but that you are committing to the care and community of your fellow members and submitting to the authority God has established to lead our congregation.
If you’re not a Christian, don’t worry about membership until you’ve been reconciled to God though Jesus. If you are a visitor, we’re glad you’ve joined us and hope you feel welcome! If you are a Christian who has spent a lot of time at FBC, however, search your heart and identify your hesitation about becoming a member. There may be valid reasons to abstain from membership. But we’re rebels by our cursed nature; if you bristle at the very idea of becoming a member, ask yourself why–and don’t hesitate to speak with one of our leaders.
Do members have to be baptized?
Since Jesus commands that all of his disciples be baptized by immersion, baptism is a requirement for all FBC members (Matt. 28:19 Acts 2:38 10:48 1 Peter 3:21). If you’ve already been baptized since you became a Christian, you don’t need to get re-baptized. FBC performs believer baptisms, which means we don’t baptize infants. If you have more questions about baptism, please read through our baptism material or contact one of our leaders.
How do I become a member?
Contact one of the elders
Read through the membership handout
Read through our Statement of Faith
Read through FBC's Church Vision
Read through our Constitution and Bylaws
Meet with a couple elders
Affirmation by church membership at the next congregational meeting