Membership at Whyte Ridge Baptist Church
“Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.” (Romans 12:4-5)
The idea of formal church membership is not specifically found anywhere in scripture. However, it is very clear throughout the New Testament that the Lord intends for all of His followers to grow and serve together as one body. It is within this body, the Body of Christ, that we are meant to use the gifts He has given us to help one another mature in our faith and to work together in sharing the grace and love of Christ to the world around us.
At WRBC, we see membership as a way in which a person can very intentionally identify with a local body of believers, purposefully declaring that he or she is committed to seeking and serving Christ with the Church in his or her community. Also in our church, formal membership allows one to be able to vote on ministry matters as we discern the Lord’s leading together.
Process of membership
To become a church member at WRBC, only two things are required:
- First of all, one must be a follower of Christ who has put their trust in Him for the forgiveness of sin. If you have not experienced Jesus in this way, you are very welcome to talk about this with any of the WRBC leadership. We would LOVE to talk about the love and grace of Jesus with you.
- To be a member, one must be baptized (by immersion). Baptism is for anyone who believes in Jesus and His forgiveness. It is never too late in life to be baptized, and once again we would be very happy to talk to anyone about what baptism means and how you could be baptized.
After that, the path to membership at WRBC is flexible and can be somewhat tailored to the needs and situation of each person. Basically, the process looks like this:
- You get to know us. If you are feeling lead to pursue membership at WRBC, you would first approach one of the pastors, who would provide you with an opportunity to understand who we are as a church and what it is that we stand for at our core. This could either take place in the form of a short seminar for a group of prospective members, or it could take place as an individual conversation with that pastor.
- We get to know you. We believe that the life of every Christian is truly a story about Jesus. No matter what the specifics of your story may be, it benefits all of us in our walks with God to hear how the Lord has made Himself known to you. So we look forward to hearing your story of how you came to know Jesus and what He has done in your life. Sometimes this looks like a public sharing of your story on a Sunday morning. Other times it looks like something less formal in a smaller group setting. Either way, a pastor and/or deacons will walk alongside you as you think through how you might share your story of God with clarity.
- The church family affirms you. After you, as a baptized believer in Christ, have had opportunity to get to know us and we have had opportunity to get to know you, the deacons will put forward your name at the next congregational business meeting, where your church family will vote to receive you into membership.
Expectations of a Member
It is expected that a committed member of Whyte Ridge Baptist Church will join the church family in:
- Psalm 95 says, “Come let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.” We have the joy of meeting together regularly to honour and learn about our Father as a church family.
- Pursuing God. Ephesians 4:11-13 tells us that everyone in the church has been uniquely gifted for the common good of helping each other as we grow in the maturity of our faith.
- Caring for one another. In Hebrews 10:25, we read, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” It is our privilege and calling to look after each other in times of need.
- Supporting church ministry. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” As the Lord leads us to serve Him and His Kingdom together, we are each called to engage in church ministry through the regular giving of time and offering.
We are already glad that you have chosen to come here to worship God with us and walk together with us in community. If you feel lead to pursue membership more formally as outlined above, please come and speak with any pastor or deacon. We look forward to spending time with you!